"All living things" sounds like a pretty
tall order. After all, I'm not a saint or someone
who's able to rise above all of the little foibles that
our humanity seems to thrust upon us. My circle of
compassion, I'm afraid, does not extend to all living
things, though I'm pretty sure that Albert is right here,
and that it should. But just how do I accomplish
something like this if I want to have peace in my heart?
It seems even more difficult if one considers the "monkeysphere"
theory of humanity, the theory that says there are a
limited number of people for whom we're able to care, and
if someone is outside of that number, we simply care much
less about them than we would about someone in our
sphere. To put it very simply, if a loved one dies
it affects us much more strongly than would the deaths of
10,000 people who are strangers to us in an earthquake,
tsunami, war, or massacre. We'll say "what a
shame" about the far-away 10,000, but we'll mourn for
days or weeks for the one loved one.
If Albert is right, the stakes are very high. Peace
is one of the most important elements of our lives if
we're going to accomplish the things we wish to accomplish
and become the people we're meant to become. Peace
allows us to approach all we do and say with a level of
equanimity that doesn't include ego or the desire to
impress anyone else. Peace allows us to deal with
setbacks in positive ways, and it allows us to resist
reacting in negative ways. Peace has been an
important goal of human beings for many, many years, and
here we learn that it's strongly tied to the way we feel
for others. . . or not.
I can remind myself with each person that I see, each
animal that I see, each plant or tree that I see, that the
object of my attention is a creation of the exact same
creative source as I. The thing I see is doing its
best to make it through life as well as it can, too.
And when I do that, I can feel the peace that comes from
knowing that I'm not alone in this boat, on this planet
that's hurtling through space at an amazing speed, and
that it will do me good to relax and take this journey as
it was meant to be--as part of a whole with others who
also are part of that same whole.
(For information on the Monkeysphere theory, just type the
word into any search engine.)