I am sure that by now all of us have heard about the slanderous and offensive comments made by Rush Limbaugh on his radio show recently. And I must admit that I was a bit upset myself when I first heard of it. And I know that, not only are his remarks still being discussed in many newspapers and TV shows, but also there are petitions out there to remove him from the airwaves.
How do you feel about this? Do you agree that he should be put off the radio? Are you angry or offended by Rush? Did you sign any of the petitions?
Well remember, this is a Buddhist Blog, so I am going to offer my personal views on this situation.
And I see that hurtful words are everywhere, but they are only hurtful when we attach to them and make it personal. Our ego is what generates these feelings of anger and outrage. Thinking “I” do not like this, or “I” do not approve. And truly, none of this is for you to approve of. We cannot control anyone else, we can only work on ourselves. Being mindful of our own words and actions, and acting in a loving and compassionate manner as best that we can. And part of this mindfulness and compassion is in being fully present and accepting.
Our country was founded on freedom of speech, not just speech that we like to hear. And certainly, if you don’t like someones radio show you can easily not listen. No one will force you to listen to it!
Now I know that for some of you, this all sounds possibly too passive. Our nature can certainly motivate to “do something” in many situations. And in certain situations, it is Right Action to do something. If someone is drowning, and you can reach in and save them, this is Right Action. But if you run into a burning house that is beyond safely entering, to save another person, this is not Right Action. You are not being mindful or compassionate to yourself. This is where Right View comes into play.
Help someone if you can, but if you cannot then you must accept this without remorse or regret. And certainly we should all understand that we cannot control people or situations to obtain the result we desire.
Many years ago I heard a sermon at Willow Creek Community Church by Bill Hybels, and it still resonates with me today.
The sermon was about “Love of another kind”. Basically, Bill was speaking about loving those who are not easy to love. And to me this is the true practice of mindfulness, compassion and acceptance.
So yes, I can easily love my Family and friends, but my practice is to have that same unconditional love for all beings and that absolutely includes Rush Limbaugh.
I hope this may be some food for thought, and perhaps today you too will extend “love of another kind” to someone.
And as always, may you be well, happy and peaceful.