It seems easy for those sitting in the comfort of their own home to shake their heads at what is going on in Iran, and to utter the usual trivial, sometimes judgmental, conversation snippets that seem to almost naturally come out when speaking of such events.
After all, everyone has an opinion about everything, no?
But, my friends, let’s not fool ourselves; even in places that seem perfectly peaceful, injustice exists. We can’t hope to solve any of these problems if we continue judging others and not looking at ourselves. After all, “we must look upon our enemies with a sin-covering eye and act with justice when confronted with any injustice whatsoever, forgive all, consider the whole of humanity as our own family, the whole earth as our own country, be sympathetic with all suffering, nurse the sick, offer a shelter to the exiled, help the poor and those in need, dress all wounds and share the happiness of each one” (quote from ‘Abdu’l-Baha).
While anger and despair at the current situation in Iran, in Africa, in the United States, in Canada – in short, everywhere in the world, make events such at the riots in Iran an unfortunate yet understandable result, is this the best way of channelling our energy? Today’s Iran-related conversations have mostly been angry ones; I, too, have been struggling all day to come up with a post that didn’t turn into biting accusations or yet another needless statement about how terrible the situation in Iran is. We know that. We don’t need to be told the same thing over and over. What we need is to act in a way that will bring about final and definite change.
And while the action needed to bring about such change does need to be drastic, as it involves a deep change in the way we do everything, on a never before seen scale, it does not, however, need to be either violent, nor disrespectful.
Was Gandhi ever either violent or disrespectful?
So keep the information flowing, but don’t stop at facts. Keep exchanging ideas, but don’t judge. And most importantly, keep arising in the name of justice, but don’t let your actions bring it about, either. Most of the billions of people inhabiting our planet agree; we need to unite in our efforts to make our common dream of justice a reality. Because as a very wise 10 year old once told me, you don’t fight fire with fire; you fight fire with water.