Working in the church, you’d think you’d meet honest, helpful and kind people. “Love thy neighbour” and all that. Of course not everyone is the same and many people were nice, but I was often confronted by selfishness and stubbornness when it came to communicating with my church colleagues. By the time I’d been in India for a while, of course I had met a whole host of people. Some of them were lovely, some of them were not. The ones who were not so lovely chipped away at my idea that Buddhism would be the answer to my restless soul. The final hope slipped away whilst I was on a tuktuk near Pushkar in Rajasthan. Pushkar is a sacred place for Hindus, so no meat or eggs are allowed here. Paradise for me as a vegan! Yet on my tuktuk ride to visit Aloo Babba (a holy man famous locally for fasting a lot and eating only potatoes) we passed a giant chicken farm. Long metal sheds just like those found in Norfolk, with feed towers and a dreadful smell. How could a sacred place be so close to an awful factory? Why did anyone living here think that this was ok? Money I suppose, supply and demand. That’s when I realised that hypocrites are everywhere, not just in the church.
Now, I kind of think of myself as multireligious. I’m pretty sure there is a God/creative force, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t matter whether you worship Him/it in a church or temple, but I know for certain that it is good and right to be kind. I think there is much to be learnt from spiritual figures of the past, but mostly I try and apply kindness to everything in my life - from picking up litter as a kindness to others who will come that way, to going to volunteer in the Balkans.
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"
“Kindness should become the natural way of life,not the exception.”
“Kindness is a pearl of the heart; without it, the heart is just an empty shell.”
"Practice truth, contentment and kindness; this is the most excellent way of life.”