Navigating Uncertain Times

Yesterday was election day, and it may take some time to properly determine who won. Campaigns, pundits, talking heads and social media will try to shape the narrative in favor of their candidate of choice, regardless of the important details of the actual results. Established media organizations hire statisticians and election experts to help project winners based on real time results, exit polls, past polling, etc. However, official results from state Election officials are “certified” in the days after the election, and your mail in ballots will continue to be counted until the electoral college votes on December 14.

While this process may go on for some time, today many of us find ourselves tense, anxious, nervous, and even scared of violence. All of these feelings are valid. Yet, no matter who wins or what happens next, Tanenbaum will not stop fighting to promote justice and build respect, because we collectively have the power to create the world that works for all of us.

As you move through the next few days, and even weeks, we invite you to remember the wisdom that has been repeated throughout the ages, all over the world, that reminds us, if we can prioritize caring for our neighbors, we will find a way forward. The 14th Dalai Lama tells us:

Compassion is not at all weak. It is the strength that arises out of seeing the true nature of suffering in the world. Compassion allows us to bear witness to that suffering, whether it is in ourselves or others, without fear; it allows us to name injustice without hesitation, and to act strongly, with all the skill at our disposal. To develop this mind state of compassion…is to learn to live, as the Buddha put it, with sympathy for all living beings, without exception.

We know that the future depends on how we respond in this moment, and so it is the responsibility of each and every one of us to make sure we always remember to see and treat one another with compassion and kindness, especially during times of uncertainty.

Below you will find our Shared Visions on Compassion. Please take a moment and sit with these reflections, shared across religious traditions, to help guide our communities forward through this turbulence.

SHARED VISIONS – COMPASSION

African Indigenous Religions

It is not always physical bravery that counts. One must have the courage to face life as it is, to go through sorrows and always sacrifice oneself for the sake of others. African Traditional Religions Kipsigis Saying (Kenya)

Baha’i

Take pride not in love for yourselves but in love for your fellow-creatures. Glory not in love for your country, but in love for all mankind. Bahau’ullah, Tablets of Wisdom

Buddhism

Compassion is not at all weak. It is the strength that arises out of seeing the true nature of suffering in the world. Compassion allows us to bear witness to that suffering, whether it is in ourselves or others, without fear; it allows us to name injustice without hesitation, and to act strongly, with all the skill at our disposal. To develop this mind state of compassion…is to learn to live, as the Buddha put it, with sympathy for all living beings, without exception. Tenzin Gyatso, The 14th Dalai Lama

Christianity

All of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. 1 Peter 3:8

Confucianism

All you have to do is take this very heart here and apply it to what is over there. Hence one who extends his bounty can bring peace to the Four Seas; one who does not cannot bring peace even to his own family. Confucianism: Mencius I.A.7

Hinduism

Find and follow the good path and be ruled by compassion. For if the various ways are examined, compassion will prove the means to liberation. Tirukkural 25: 241-242

Humanism

There is no beautifier of complexion, or form, or behavior, like the wish to scatter joy and not pain around us. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Islam

A man once asked the Prophet what was the best thing in Islam, and the latter replied, “It is to fed the hungry and to give the greeting of peace both to those one knows and to those one does not know.” Hadith of Bukhari

Jainism

Have benevolence toward all living beings joy at the sight of the virtuous, compassion and sympathy for the afflicted, and tolerance towards the indolent and ill-behaved. Tattvartha Sutra 7.11

Judaism

Deeds of loving-kindness are greater than charity. Sukkah, 49

Native American

Work together for the benefit of all Mankind. Give assistance and kindness wherever needed. Law of the Great Spirit

Shinto

To be helpful to others and in the world at large through deeds of service without thought of rewards, and to seek the advancement of the world as one whose life mediates the will of Kami. Jinja Shinto Principle

Sikhism

Compassion-mercy and religion are the support of the entire world. Japji (Sahib)

Taoism

Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. Lao Tzu

Zoroastrianism

Doing good to others is not a duty, it is a joy, for it increases our own health and happiness. Zoroaster