War is made possible by “othering”, the dehumanization of people. Karma states that one cannot take the humanity of another without losing one’s own humanity. Today in the USA people convicted of crimes walk the streets with permanent invisible badges “thief, murderer, rapist, etc.”. One cannot casually see that label as they walk by, but they struggle under the weight of it. At the same time unaccused and unconvicted police officers struggle under the weight of those same labels, their badges hand them the weight of every crime any police officer has committed. The rest of us walk uneasily among them both, fearful of the inhuman and all too aware of how easily we could lose our own humanity.
The word “humanity” once stood for something else; courage, determination, genius, and most of all compassion. I would like to live once more among humanity. I would like to see those who have lost their honor regain it. And while forgiveness can only come to this who seek it, acting in human compassion can affirm and strengthen the humanity of all parties. Acting in human compassion can soothe hearts, restore families, end wars.
So I ask that you look past the labels, “criminal, pig, Trump supporter, communist, anarchist, alcoholic, meat-eater, breeder, etc.” Breath deep, and see the best parts of the person in front of you. Not for their sake, but for yours; to know in that reflection you are a noble human too, and so that we may once again live in a beautiful world.