In the intricate tapestry of our world, the ongoing wars serve as stark reminders off the challenges humanity faces. As conflicts persist, the interconnected nature of our global society has brought both unity and division. Social media, a powerful tool for communication, has the potential to unite people across borders, yet it often finds itself entangled in divisive narratives. What I’ve witnessed recently in social media is people quite aggressively taking sides and, at the same time, criticising and judging others for not speaking out.
Even yoga practitioners and teachers have not been spared from scrutiny, with comments questioning the appropriateness of posting yoga asana pictures amidst global turmoil. It seems that everyone is an “expert” these days, ready to dictate what is right or wrong.
Amidst these turbulent times, the importance of supporting one another and embracing kindness becomes more evident than ever. Simply attacking each other doesn’t serve any purpose. Instead of adding to the negativity, can’t we strive to generate more positivity? This doesn’t mean ignoring or pretending that there are no wars; it doesn’t mean donning unicorn t-shirts that read “good vibes only.”
It’s undeniable that everyone who is human-KIND is feeling the profound impact of the current global situation. Personally, I have experienced waves of migraine and low moods, stemming from a sense of powerlessness. I deeply feel the suffering of our fellow humans and animals. Regardless of nationality, skin colour, race, education, language, or name, at our core, we all share the universal desire to be happy and to escape suffering and pain—birth-rights equally bestowed upon every soul.
Coming from a small country that endured five long years of attack from a much larger one, I can relate to the feeling of not being safe in one’s own homeland. My beloved granddad, a war veteran, never carried bitterness or anger. Despite enduring unimaginable horrors, he remained a loving, kind soul with an amazing sense of humour. Reflecting on his experience, he used to say,
“Life is interesting. I like it.”
In my recent yoga class, I felt a deep need to share and engage in a community discussion about the world’s current state. As a yoga teacher, I am not inclined to discuss politics; instead, I see yoga as a means of union, not division. Our heart-to-heart conversation fostered a beautiful mood of mutual understanding and support. One participant, Joelle, shared a similar feeling of helplessness but found solace in helping someone locally who had a motorbike accident. Anthony succinctly captured the sentiment, saying, “We all should be just more kind towards one another.” A sentiment echoed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who declared,
“My religion is kindness.”
So, in the midst of it all, what can we do? As we navigate the complexities of the global situation, the importance of supporting one another cannot be overstated. Donating money to humanitarian organisations is crucial, but we can also start right here and now by cultivating peace and kindness within ourselves. Acts of kindness, whether small or large, create a ripple effect that transcends borders, inspiring positive change. Supporting each other becomes a powerful antidote to divisive forces that threaten to tear societies apart. By fostering empathy and understanding, individuals can contribute to the creation of a more compassionate and interconnected world.
Our yoga class, following the community sharing, turned out to be powerful and beautiful. There were hugs, thank-yous, and warm smiles exchanged, embodying the true essence of yoga—Union.
~Om Shantih shantih shantih
Peace to every nation
Peace to every sister & brother
In Peace & Love,
[Photo @yogafota Ross Mac]