Keep Loving – Empty Hands
“Whether you’re different, same, ignorant, or intelligent
Whether you tell the truth, lie, or embellish it
Whether you live in gratitude or for the hell of it
It doesn’t really matter, we’re still one single fellowship
Whether you’ve been lustful or livin’ celibate-
Whether you’re an optimist or only see the negative-
Whether you’re dead broke or rich from inheritance
It doesn’t really matter, we’re made of the same sediments
Whether you got a family or single parentin’-
Or you’re Asian, African, European, or American
Whether you pray-to-God or atheist is irrelevant
Cuz what you got inside is the same as all your brethren
So keep loving,
It’ll change your heart; it’ll change your mind”❤
“May I be happy; May all beings be happy” ❤
Recently, on social media, I saw a thread where a single young mom, with multiple divorces, with five kids, and various dads, and a few pets, was being ridiculed, destructively criticized, mocked, slandered, judged…by complete strangers all because she had multiple kids when she was very young and has a history of failed romantic relationships, which she said broke her heart. By what she wrote, she clearly loves her kids and pets. The comments people were writing are vicious and mocking. They called her “trash” and other insults and were sarcastically calling her “a real winner.” They said she would always be single and no man would ever want her and many more insults. They mocked her because she made a couple spelling mistakes. They ridiculed her for her interests and activities she likes to do for fun(makeup & fashion are a couple). They even criticized her physical appearance! They talked about her hair and everything. And for every unkind comment, there were a bunch more people who “liked/loved” each toxic comment, even ones who did not comment themselves.
One person posted her picture on his account as a screen capture with some facts about her and him and his online friends all got together and began saying as many insults as they could about her. He blocked her account for the post so she wouldn’t see. There were over 100 comments. I’m in awe (and not in a pleasing way lol) that 30 something year old adults and older are still cyber(and maybe in person as well!) bullies! I can even understand just being unkind once in a while or even in general but actually mocking and ridiculing people just for laughs. There are better ways to heal and cope with our own pain than doing this to someone else.
The overwhelming majority of comments were this. Only a couple people commented with something positive to say about her or to come to her defense. Probably because they knew if they stepped in to defend her, they would be bashed too, like bullies in the schoolyard. Except here, we’re all adults. I can imagine there were probably other moms like her reading and maybe angry, crushed, feeling low about the comments, that can also apply to them. And people with bad spelling/grammar may have been reading and feeling inferior.
I can just imagine what all these people would say about me if they had the chance and knew things about me! For all I know they already are! This can happen to any of us! Imagine someone on your friends list or a follower of your account taking a screencap of your pic of yourself and posting it to that person’s own account so all the friends can roast you without you even knowing! There is a game called “roast me” where people put their own pic on so online friends can say as many insults as possible! lol! But this person has no idea she was subjected to this.
If we stop and think how this can be us or someone we know, it can deepen our compassion/empathy for those it happens to. This applies to anything good or “bad.” When something happens to a stranger, pleasant or not, imagine if it happened to us or someone we know and remember that stranger feels the same way we would were it us it happened to. And even if we wouldn’t care if it happened to us, others may be devastated or angry if it were them. So that’s another good thing to keep in mind, that we all handle things differently and have different reactions. And all are valid.
I think this is also a good example of how we can influence each other for better or worse. What if this young woman posted her own picture and facts about herself where all those same people would see? They probably would not have reacted the way they did. They saw the original poster of the screencaps and went along with him, probably to please him and have a feeling of “all in this together,” and have some laughs while coping with their own pain/unhappiness. I don’t believe any of those people have good self esteem or are happy or they would not have done that. Focusing on someone else’s mistakes, pain, misfortune…helps take our mind off our own but so does focusing on love, well wishes, happiness for others. Let us influence each other for the better! ❤
“…Now, many years later, I understand the power of loving-friendliness. It helps us swallow the bitterness of life.” (Loving-Kindness In Plain English – The Practice of Metta ❤)
I was so confused about all the destructive criticism. I couldn’t understand it. Why would we want to drag someone down like that? What provoked all this unkindness? Instead of seeing her as one of our sisters in life, a fellow sentient being, they saw her as a punching bag, an easy target, an opportunity to get out all their own pain by inflicting it upon someone else. My confusion lessened a bit when I remembered the saying:
“Hurt people, hurt people.”
I believe that is the reason people choose to try to make someone else hurt or suffer; those people are suffering themselves and do not quite know how to process it. The man who began the thread to ridicule this person, just the day before, admitted to being depressed, anxious, suicidal, and socially isolated, and in need of a friend. He admitted that his quality of work is suffering because of his poor mental health. Is this a justification for trying to inflict pain upon others? Absolutely not. But understanding this can help us help someone to heal.
Some of us turn our own pain to greater compassion for others and some of us turn our own pain into bitterness to try to hurt others. Anyone who does this can change it for the better. Choose kindness.
Let us remember to be kind even to those who are acting in an unkind manner; the ones we feel deserve it the least are probably many of the ones who need it the most. Loving them does not mean we condone what they do, just that we know kindness makes the whole world a better place. Love heals. Our Love for them may help them become more kind one day. Just keep loving even when it’s difficult.
“One who truly loves himself will not harm others. She who loves herself will tune in to the energy of loving-friendliness and understand how magnificent it would be if every heart in the world would share this feeling.”❤ (Loving-Kindness In Plain English – The Practice of Metta)
I want to share some love here and tell everyone it’s ok to have a difficult, messed up, unpleasant…past(and even present), ok to make mistakes and have a history of failed relationships, whether they are married ones, romantic and not married, or platonic friendships; it does not mean someone is a bad person or that the person will never be a good girlfriend/wife(or whatever gender/gender identity) or friend to someone else.
And yes, if you’re a single mom(or even not single) with five kids(or even just one kid), and love your kids, you ARE a winner no matter how young or old you were when you had them(or adopted), no matter how many different dads they have, and no matter how many failed relationships or breakups you have experienced. I know not all kids have a mom & a dad; that’s just the example I’m giving because the woman here was being criticized for having multiple dads for her kids.
And not everyone has good grammar/spelling skills. And some people are doing the best they can writing in a language that is not their native one. Some people have learning disabilities to some degree or just not very skilled at something. (I am terrible at basic math) And I think most of us on occasion slip up and spell something wrong or write something that is not correct in terms of grammar. I definitely do this myself. Sometimes it may be autocorrect or sometimes just me slipping up. It’s really no big thing.
Kindness is always good but especially these days when so many of us are struggling with depression, anxiety, stress of any sort, suicidal tendencies….In our society (U.S.), and maybe other societies, we are too judgmental and too critical of each other and our own self. One word of kindness or one word of cruelty can go a long way. If someone is already struggling, just one simple, brief compliment or wishing someone well, can possibly allay the person’s pain a bit or even if not, at least bring some love, joy, and comfort, to the person in the midst of the struggle.
And if someone is already suffering, callous remarks, or even just a cold tone, can add so much to the pain, even more than intended.
And even if we’re not struggling, we love acts of love!
“Metta is not ordinary love. It is the quality of love we experience in our whole being, a love that has no ulterior motive — and no opposite. It can never become hatred; the love-hate dichotomy simply does not apply.” (Loving-Kindness In Plain English – The Practice of Metta)
We’re not responsible for someone else’s suffering, feelings, choices, happiness…we’re responsible for our own. But we can still remember the impact our choice of words, comments, remarks, both in person and online, can have on others and choose to be kind or even just saying nothing when we just cannot bring ourself(this is a word lol) to feel or be kind. Sometimes holding our tongue is an act of kindness. Constructive criticism is good in many cases. But intentional destructive criticism is always toxic and unnecessary. I am not innocent of this and think most of us have room to grow.
Who cares if we’re financially rich or poor, working seven days a week or out of work, have ten kids or are childless(I prefer childless over childfree because “childfree” makes it seem like children are a burden as opposed to a gift. I never wanted kids; I just have no inclination, but still love them and know they are a gift! Many childless people are offended by the word “childless.” “Childfree” is what I find off-putting), single, happily taken, divorced more than once…whatever! Who cares if we are neat and organized or a total slob(me!), very educated or not much of an education, very intelligent or not so much, look like a supermodel or not society’s concept of beauty, and we all may have interests/activities someone else thinks are dumb(sometimes I play with virtual pets lol), whatever mistakes we have made and will make, doesn’t matter…We’re all the same underneath and all have things others can mock us for or criticize us for. And all have qualities someone, somewhere would love if the person/s knew us.
No matter what or who you are, I’m your safe space even if we disagree on something. 💚
“Though we all have the seed of loving-friendliness within us, we must make the effort to cultivate it. When we are rigid, uptight, tense, anxious, and full of worries and fears, our natural capacity for loving-friendliness cannot flourish. To nurture the seed of loving-friendliness, we must learn to relax. In a peaceful state of mind, such as we get from mindfulness meditation, we can forget our past differences with others and forgive their faults, weaknesses, and offenses. Then loving-friendliness naturally grows within us.” (Loving-Kindness In Plain English – The Practice of Metta)
Let us remember to always be a bit kinder than necessary to everyone we meet.
And “ourself” means all of us together, not any specific group. We learn that “ourselves” is the correct grammar and it is also. But a loving Buddhist Teacher taught me that “Ourself” implies Oneness and togetherness, including ALL, so I prefer that version!
Chants of Love:
The Chant of Metta ❤
Om Mani Padme Hum ❤
Loving-Kindness Meditation ❤ (13 minutes & 26 seconds)
May I be well
May I be happy
May I be peaceful
May I be loved
May you be well
May you be happy
May you be peaceful
May you be loved
“Loving-friendliness motivates you to behave kindly to all beings at all times and to speak gently in their presence and in their absence.” (Loving-Kindness In Plain English – The Practice of Metta)
Much love & light, always,