Friday, November 14, 2014

Must Tigers Eat Only Vegetables?


I attended a Mindfulness Workshop at which the leaders read some of their favorite poems. Two lines have stuck with me:

For us to know peace, is it necessary that there be no war anywhere in the world?
For us to know peace, is it necessary that all tigers eat only vegetables?

I find the juxtaposition useful as well as charming.

It is easy to say that feeling responsible for the world is a good thing. 

It is less easy to give orders to tigers, and expect them to be obeyed.

The juxtaposition allows me to see the warmongers of the world as tigers.  This does not mean that war is okay.  It just means that I acknowledge war as part of this world, just like tigers.

I can vote and advocate for peace.

I can also admit that my life goes on just fine when I don’t read the newspaper and don’t inform myself about the wars.

The peace that really matters to me does not depend on wars or tigers, but on how I treat my fellow humans, be they warmongers or tigers, or other peace-lovers.

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