Cecil, Self-Righteous Anger, and Hypocrisy

CecilSince the killing of Cecil, Zimbabwe’s beloved lion, social media have exploded with self-righteous anger. Many are angry at the confessed killer, calling for him to be hunted down. Others are angry at those who are angry over Cecil’s death, for a variety of reasons: because Black Lives Matter… because hunger… because the Confederate flag… because abortion… because farm animals… because Palestine… because cancer…

Each person and group promotes her/his cause as more relevant, more important, and condemns the alleged hypocrisy of those who ―in their view― care more about one African lion than about _________ (fill in the blank).

All forms of oppression and all suffering stem from the wrong views of separation (“I” am unlike “them”) and supremacy (“my” opinions and desires come first), and these in turn generate the afflicted emotions of attachment, aversion, and indifference.

As long as we take every opportunity to express anger, instead of deepening our compassion and expanding our view to encompass all sentient beings as interrelated and interdependent, our self-righteous indignation is only an expression of afflicted emotions, and will necessarily lead to more suffering.

Hatred does not cease by hatred at any time.

Hatred ceases by love alone. This is the ancient law.

―Buddha Shakyamuni

About Tashi Nyima

I am a Dharma student, and aspire to be a companion on the path. I trust that these texts can offer a general approach and basic tools for practicing the Buddha's way to enlightenment. ||| Soy un estudiante del Dharma, y aspiro a ser un compañero en el sendero. Espero que estos textos ofrezcan a algunos un mapa general y herramientas básicas para la práctica del sendero a la iluminación que nos ofrece el Buda.
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4 Responses to Cecil, Self-Righteous Anger, and Hypocrisy

  1. Patricia says:

    Thank you for sharing those words. I am in accordance with them and hope others can see the path.

  2. Niall Kidd says:

    All this is ‘philosophically’ true. But. These hunters are invariably indifferent to reasonable words and usually have the sort of viewpoint that animals only exist for man’s use and pleasure. Are we to wait until they reach enlightenment regarding the need to treat all beings with compassion? Public shaming and general outrage at least can restrict the scope of these beasts in human form from inflicting unnecessary tortures on animals. Buddhists seem to forget that beings have the right to protect their lives. “Excuse me old chap, no offence intended but would you mind if I killed you before you killed me for no reason? I await your reply” That seems the Buddhist logic.

    • Tashi Nyima says:

      You do not seem to be familiar with the compassionate activity of Buddhists throughout history. We act to defend others –we just do not hate them. Angry people are ineffective.

  3. Pingback: Connection is Our Outlet for Outrage | Social In Tampa

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