I loved it when the word poseur was popular — it seemed to capture the whole ‘I can talk the talk’ attitude of so many folks. Who never seemed to have any real credibility, when it came to actions. Couldn’t — in other words — walk the true walk.
That’s true in many areas, of course. Especially when we discuss ethics, religion, faith, any moral arena.
I ran across a quote by Adlai Stevenson II, the wonderful defender of liberal values during the 50s & 60s: It is often easier to fight for principles than to live up to them. And ain’t it just?
As a Buddhist, I know I’m supposed to learn my own mind. Meditate. Practice. Be mindful. Know the 4 Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. I do try, honest! But meditation is sooo boring (sorry — it doesn’t make me happy to do it, only to have done it), and I forget and swear when I’m irritated, and sometimes I do NOT have either right mindfulness OR right concentration. Or any OTHER kind of concentration!
There. I’m now officially drummed out of the good Buddhists club.
But here’s the deal: it’s hard because I’m trying not to just talk about it. I’m trying to be civil to the family member who prayed for Obama’s death. Pleasant to another who believes children should be hit with switches and other tools. And hardest all, forgiving of my own idiocies, on a daily basis.
Because if we can’t be kind to ourselves, whom we know so very well, how on earth will we ever find the way to be kind to the rest of this flawed human race?
If you’re trying to form resolutions for this year, still, here’s mine: be kinder. More forgiving. Laugh more and lecture less. Try to lighten up, on myself as well as others. Treat yourself like you were a good friend. It will keep you from the self-hate talk we’re all sometimes guilty of.
It’s not perfect, but it’s a very good beginning. You may even find you can be more pleasant to the uncle you can’t stand!