We never swim in the same river. Nowadays, things change at the speed of light with no time even to blink. That is why many people find in the words of His Holiness the Dalai Lama a shelter from the storm.
With only seconds to think about what we are going to do – to decide how to react to an event, we are forced into action by the unrelenting tide of modern life. The margin of error at these times is very narrow, and it is always just around the corner, threatening the foolish who rush in. This is worse than it appears. Why is this so? Because it is not just about the mistake we can make. It is not about finding a solution for the problem. Our actions speak about us. Our actions speak about how supportive we are (when we decide to help people less fortunate than we), about how much we love nature (when chained to a millennial tree to avoid it being cut down), and about how much we care for others, about how much we care about our own human dignity. Our actions reveal the best and the worst in us.
The worst and the best. This is the tension every man suffers within himself, a tension between the value of his being and the expression of the value of his being, which comes out through the actions, according to Charles Malik, Lebanese philosopher and diplomat.
Human beings cannot be reduced to their actions. We are much more than our actions. We are integral beings, characterized by our emotional, spiritual, mental and physical sides. However, it is true that our human dignity can be enhanced by our actions. When we choose the good and do it perfectly, we gain freedom of excellence and are acting in accordance with our intrinsic human dignity.=
“Peace is not going to arrive prying. Peace is going to arrive acting”- declared the Dalai Lama in the 13th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates last week in Warsaw. “We need actions to achieve peace. Act, act, act. This is why it is so important to make what it is correct, to try not to be wrong when acting.”
Do not be scared. Far from being a danger, this is a great opportunity. Let’s show how great human being can be. Let’s act in peace and for peace! We have thousands of things to do to make this world a better place. But, as XIV Dalai Lama recommends, we should first take a look at ourselves and change what needs to be changed. Malik, pointed in the same direction when affirming that to make peace with the other it is first necessary to make peace within ourselves.
Let’s take a look in the mirror then. It would only take minutes. Minutes that will help us to take the best option when acting, to do our best, to achieve perfection and to ultimately achieve peace. It is possible; at least this is what His Holiness and I think. Just spend five minutes in front of a mirror.
Amanda S. Trinidad is an Intern at WYA Europe.