Today is 9/11. If you asked me what my intention is for today it would be this: "to see the world with eyes unclouded by hate."
This has been my goal for several years and when I observed what was in my heart recently I could feel the change. I do not feel any hate in my heart. I don't hate ISIS or the US military. I don't hate Hamas or Israel. I don't hate the CEOs and profiteers of war. I want all of them to stop what they are doing. But I don't hate them.
I have come to understand that we are all family. Behind all the labels - ISIS, US soldier, terrorist, war criminal, I see human beings. They are my family. Family members killing family members. This is the truth I see.
I believe our child-like hearts all know this in the beginning. But over time, we take on wounds and pain from growing up in this world and we forget.
When I look into the eyes of the soldiers of ISIS or US drone operators or military generals, I see human beings caught in illusions of separation, caught in karmic cycles of suffering.
Everyone who hurts others I recognize is suffering deeply. They are all carrying such deep wounds. Those who hate are suffering from that hate, and it binds everyone in tragic cycles of violence.
What I seek is a future that values everyone. What I seek is a world where everyone is acknowledged first as a human being. Those that desire to kill I remember were once a 5 year old child. That child had no concept of hate, no desire to kill. All of this is learned. And, if we desire a world of peace, we cannot ask the other to start first. It has to start with us.
Perhaps this kind of love is too radical for many to understand.
I know people will say, "but they want to kill us. What do we do about the people who may be unreachable?"
To that I do not have an easy answer. But I know that whatever we do, our actions must be driven by our original awareness that we are all family - that our goal is a future that values everyone. Without this awareness our efforts will be doomed to create more misery in the world, more suffering, more wounded hearts, more hatred. We will face another new generation who hate as their parents did.
If we recognize we are family, then something new just might be possible. Speak to your enemy as a human being, valuing the shared desires you have for security and dignity. We have no idea what could be possible with this understanding. That is what makes this way so powerful.