Peace without compassion? Impossible.

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The clock radio blared yet another rehashing of 9/11 as I transitioned from one dream state to another – though we call this one reality (or as a friend writes “real alley tea”).

The anniversary of 9/11 always makes me sad. It feels like no one gets it. The right blame the terrorists. The left blames the right. The conspiracies theorists get their day in the sun. The families of the victims are hauled out for a photo opp memorial with politicians who are trying to appear as compassionate and caring.

Shortly after 9/11, it felt like people got it – for a brief moment. People were moved to help in whatever way they could – maybe they offered blood, donated money, or sent out prayers. People were in pain, and they were reaching out to help those who were in even greater pain. There was a sense of connection and compassion.

But, too soon that compassion turned to anger, to blame, to revenge. The world was divided into the good guys and the bad guys. There was an illusion that this tragedy had brought us together as a country, but it only served to further lose our sense of connection with the rest of the world. How can there be compassion if there is no sense of connection? How can there be peace without compassion?

When I remember to dedicate my merit, I always include a short bit for the leaders of the world: may our leaders be compassionate and wise, and may they act in the best interest of all living beings.

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