Tuesday, June 25, 2019


I'm aware, of course, of the principle of Right Speech and I think I understand its purpose. But how do we speak about a man who occupies so powerful a position and directly influences the lives of millions--not only of Americans but of people throughout the world--who is so manifestly, gratuitously cruel and lacking in compassion?

Should we simply avoid speaking of him? Is is not in itself a violation of Right Speech to avoid denouncing wrong where we see it? Is my silence in view of, say, the detention and mistreatment of children, not a tacit approval of such behavior?

Day by day, almost hour by hour, this president's speech and actions are living testament to the fact that he is deserving of the condemnation of all those who respect the rights and the humanity of others. I find that I cannot stand idly by and watch wordlessly as he tramples mindlessly, like a crazed elephant, on every value I hold dear.

I can send him metta. I can wish him the kind of happiness that, were he to find it, would change him--and the world. I can intuit that his actions arise from a kind of karmic misery that infects his life, and feel compassion for one who suffers so profoundly that he is driven to inflict punishment on those less powerful than himself. To do otherwise is to allow myself to be similarly infected. But I cannot remain silent.

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