cairn vs charlottesville

Zen vs Social Justice

This continues to trouble me.

On the one hand, I’m trying to learn more about peace, about stillness, about reflection. On the other, I’m deeply committed to social justice. Black Lives Matter, for damn sure. I’m an out Antifa sympathizer. Etc.

Here’s the world I live in: Trump. White supremacy. Overt facism. Voter repression. McConnell, Boebert, Sinema, Manchin, MTG, Madison Cawthorn. Musk. Art Pope and the Koch empire. ALEC. Kavanagh, Barrett, Alito, Gorsuch, Judge Tom and Roberts, the voice of reason. Columbine. Sandy Hook. Uvalde. The NRA. Climate “change.” And self-absorbed suburban “moderates” who think Joe Biden is a socialist.

It seems to me there are two mandates that are very much in conflict. I believe in peace and kindness and I see violence as a last resort. I also feel like we’re way beyond the point of last resort, and the “best” among us somehow haven’t noticed that they’re a) in a war, and b) losing badly. Their children are dying and any hope for a decent world is being choked to death in the middle of Fifth Avenue.

I could use some insight.

2 thoughts on “Zen vs Social Justice

  1. This is not a Zen response, but it is Buddhist and historical. After the Mongols ruled China for over 120 years, the were finally overthrown in a revolt led by a former monk who took the name Hongwu and founded the Ming dynasty. The point is that the different mandates, goals, aspirations are not perpetually mutually exclusive. It may be that different actions are called for at different times.


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