Confronted with excessive and overwhelming cruelty in our contemporary world, many persons ask: Is it possible to contribute to peace effectively, when nation states, multinational companies, and numerous ignorant groups and individuals are dedicated to multiplying suffering everywhere? What can one person do?
Even if we do not have the capacity to help all those who suffer, we do have the power to reduce suffering considerably in our own sphere of action. We can be kind to our neighbors; we can refrain from increasing pain and suffering. And because the universe is an interdependent network of cause and effect, our compassionate acts —however small and seemingly insignificant— do have a positive effect on a global scale.
Specifically, without waiting for anything or anyone else, we can:
- cultivate mental peace, tolerance, good will, and generosity in our lives
- combat fear, rejecting the alarmist media
- withdraw our support from political, social, and religious institutions that preach or sanction hate
- avoid expressions of hate and animosity toward those with whom we disagree
- eliminate our demand for animal flesh, secretions and products, which constitutes the principal cause of the enslavement, torture, and death of billions of non-human animals each and every year
These five actions are well within our reach. We are not powerless!