I don’t try to change the world–not ever. It changes by itself, and I’m a part of that change. I’m absolutely, totally a lover of what is. When people ask me for help, I say yes. We inquire, and they begin to end their suffering, and in that they begin to end the suffering of the world.
Violence teaches only violence. Stress teaches stress. If you clean up your mental environment, we’ll clean up our physical one much more quickly…And if you do that genuinely, without violence in your heart, without anger, without pointing at corporations as the enemy, then people begin to notice. We begin to listen and notice that change through peace is possible. It has to begin with one person. If you’re not the one, who is? ~Stephen Mitchell
For years I’ve had an ambivalence about social activism because I’ve seen so much of it further polarize people. Who am I to know what is best for the planet? Righteousness is no good; if we are to make a difference in the world, we must speak authentically, lovingly from the heart. Accusations and anger simply raise defenses. The world is perfect as it is, according to Mitchell (and his wife Byron Katie), but that’s no excuse for withdrawal or separation.
May I clear my mind, understand that the world is perfect just as it is, but stay connected with my heart to those who are suffering. May I question for the love of truth, not in order to save the world. And may I speak always, even to power, with honesty and kindness and without fear or anger.