One of the things that stands out to me most in Buddhism is their dedication to compassion and forgiveness. I recently watched a documentary called “10 Questions for the Dalai Lama”(it’s on Netflix. You should watch it).
Recently I was hurt, deeply, by someone I care about. I was publicly ridiculed, criticized and lied about, and I was perplexed. It was all for a reason I didn’t know – ((which is shocking, because generally speaking, I know when I make people mad as I do so it regularly.))
As all of this was happening, in the flurry of emotion and questions I had, I felt a calm descend upon me. I decided to forgive. Not because I’m an enlightened or evolved person – simply because I could.
I COULD forgive, and so I did.
All the person who attacked me took from me was my pride… and a few brief days of peace and happiness. The truth is, I have done as much to other people, more than once. I don’t always mean to hurt them, sometimes it just happens.
The Dalai Lama had much more taken from him than his pride. He was driven from his home, forced to take refuge in a foreign country. When he sought aid from the United States – known around the world for supporting religious freedom – the US had no reason to get involved in the affairs of a divine leader in a third-world, undeveloped country… and so we turned our back. He has not lived in his own home for decades. His people have been killed, and told that he was a sham and that he lied to them.
The amazing thing is that he forgives. He forgives them! If he can forgive Mao and the Chinese for taking his home and killing his people, then I can certainly forgive a few unkind words. What an example for us to follow… he is inspiring me already (but then, who wouldn’t be inspired by him?).