Posted by: Upāsaka | 07/10/2017

Nonviolence in Practice

This weekend I drove my family up to New Hampshire do they could visit their cousins and attend some summer camps. While there, someone stole my nephew’s bike. Since the town they live in is so small we decided to take a ride around to see if we could find it. After about ten minutes of searching I spotted it behind a dumpster at an apartment building. We went to the door where my sister-in-law’s boyfriend knocked on the door. We ended up finding the culprit (a pre-adolescent boy) and speaking to him and his mother. 

My issue is this: I basically felt like I was acting as back up for my friend. I have been in enough similar situations where I have brought the threat of physical violence just by my presence and I was disappointed to find myself taking up the same attitude. Rather than spending the time during the search cultivating metta, I was steeling myself for a possible confrontation. Luckily, it didn’t come to that but it easily could have and I think I would have acted poorly.

I’m grateful that I was able to see just how much I need to learn and that I was able to avoid causing harm. May I remember top cultivate metta and karuna before any word is spoken and deed undertaken. 

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