I am not perfect. I am complicated. My heroes are not perfect. We are all broken in one way or another and that is exactly why we need each other. My weakness is someone else’s strength.
Yet, we are too often our own worst enemy. We have a peculiar tendency to judge everyone and especially our leaders, to say and to act according to what our conscience is screaming, but without the contemplation that could bring the roar to the measured whisper it needs to be. We are not perfect, and we are not entirely evil. We are human.
And our leaders, to hold on to their power, too often forget to admit their own limitations, that the world is less than complicated, that we all see feebly and that we need each other. Do we even permit our leaders to admit their own limitations? Or is genuine humility something that disqualifies a leader today?
We must all die to ourselves to live. Before the leaves uncoil under the sun, before the life-giving roots are spun in darkness, the seed must be buried in the soil and die. There is life and light that comes only through loss. The seed’s renewing death is something we must accept to live as individuals and as a society.
I would like to believe that we more often than not do what we think is best for ‘others’. Even though humanity is facing threats more severe than ever before, there are abundant examples of people who at great personal risk inspire hope, solutions, sanity. They demonstrate by both their lives and their words the existence of love and generosity.
In India today I have been encouraged by and have participated in the revolutionary swell of people protesting the abuse of women’s rights, personal safety and dignity. Men and women alike are more aware than ever before of these issues and it is heartening to see such resounding support, albeit following a demented murder too horrible to describe here.
Nevertheless, as outraged as we all are, we need to keep from simplistically dividing the world between the oppressed and the oppressors, the good and the evil, good and bad police, a government that is irredeemably corrupt or a government without blame.
The world is complicated.
We all have our list of failures and achievements. We try to balance out our lives accordingly. Even when a good leader of a cause arises, the personal flaws are there on full display. But a leader is hardly ever allowed a second chance. We want our leaders to be perfect.
We need to indeed fight and condemn evil. If we do not fight that dark side which resides within each of us, there arises a need to fight it outside, to self-righteously blame, and to find scapegoats.
Staying conscious is the trick. We can’t divide the world into black and white and live. The world will be a better place to live if we all try to stand united with a conscious soul that will help us radiate truth and inner freedom.
We should listen to an informed call of the conscience that will help us work together towards justice and peace in the world.