SOULTales - Character Strengths, Stories & Vocabulary

Friday, November 21, 2008

Kitchen table Ahimsa!

You must be wondering why, I'm weighing such heavy thoughts in my mind. It is stream which was activated by an article that I read in The Hindu, by Usha Jesudasen. She asks us how we practice Ahimsa at home, and goes on to say that Ahimsa is not some deep philosophy but is a way of life and asks us to examine our lives to see if we do practice it. She says it is not about renunciation, it is about sharing and caring.
I quite agree with her.
Ahimsa is non-violence in thought and action. In these times when there is such cut throat competition and violence you may think I'm anachronistic. Violence and aggression is an animal instinct. In fact the smile is a grimace of aggression that slowly evolved into this expression of recognition. I digress...Coming back to Ahimsa, I think we can learn from children. I remember my son was taking part in a running race during an event organized in our apartment. He had to run to a point, put on a T-shirt and then run back to the starting point. He was very much in the lead, and quickly wore his shirt and on completing it, had to see how his friend was faring, and found him struggling. My son immediately ran up to him and helped him wear the shirt, held his hand and came back to the start. He got a standing ovation, he was the real winner in all our eyes. He was just 3.
I 'm sure years of living will change him in due course of time....sad!
Himsa for me is even thoughts of negativity that we nurture in us, judgments we pass on people without considering the circumstances. Am I being too naive, I ask myself, but contempt and negativity breeds the same, while positive thought can create wonders and change even the most hopeless situation or person. I know.
The worse a person is treated the worse will he think and treat the world. Postive action and thought is Ahimsa. It is not about self sacrifice ( that Gandhi expostulated) but it is a postive attitude that we need to wear on our sleeves.
A simple idea that you and I can uphold in our daily lives. If we could only accept people as they are, understand the circumstances of their action and not judge them then we are truly on the path of Ahimsa.