NADINE COLLIER, DAUGHTER OF VICTIM ETHEL LANCE “I forgive you. You took something very precious away from me. I will never get to talk to her ever again. I will never be able to hold her again, but I forgive you, and have mercy on your soul. … You hurt me. You hurt a lot of people. If God forgives you, I forgive you.”
These words, and the deep conviction underlying them, changed a nation. They surely changed me. In a moment of unfathomable pain and loss, the daughter of 87 year old Ethel Lance was able to show us all that forgiveness is a spiritual principal that does NOT presuppose an absence of pain, but rather frees the person wronged, to continue to live.
The spiritual maturity of this woman, this suffering daughter, was missed by so many. Her forgiveness was not facile, nor was it letting the perpetrator off the hook. Her deep conviction and forceful insistence upon forgiving gave the responsibility back to the person who caused the pain, and the ultimate rectification to God. To miss the astonishing power of this teaching is to miss a lot.
A speaker at the 80th Birthday celebration for His Holiness the Dalai Lama, held in Anaheim, CA this last week, in dialogue with His Holiness and other Nobel Laureates, made the point clear that Compassion without Wisdom is futile. Seeking deeper understanding of our own and others' emotional motivations, reconnecting to the wisdom of nature, studying and learning and most of all, ACTING in the interest of the elimination of nuclear weapons, and to level the playing fields in education and economics, is the definition of Empowered Compassion.
And most important of all, the message of two days of dialogues with wise ones, is that if you are utilizing "enlightenment" in a way to simply serve yourself, it is not enlightenment, but narcissism.
Thank you Nadine Collier, for showing a nation a living example of the cost and the power of empowered compassion. Thank you His Holiness, for your searing intelligence and dedication to your own daily practice.
"Anyone can whistle, that's what they say, easy. Anyone can whistle, any old day, easy...What's hard is simple, What's natural comes hard. Maybe you can show me how to let go, lower my guard, learn to be ...free. Maybe if you whistle; Whistle for me."
#BeginWithin, #WisdomPath #JustDoIt
With love, Jane