Life will always be filled with Dukkha. It's the very nature of being alive. Men and women who choose to be police officers take on a very special role in protecting our lives. Personally, I'm very thankful for their services despite a few bad apples. Because I'm not a police officer I won't give them advice on how to do their job. But i can give advice to other practitioners. The only men and women who are credited to give advice are those who have been on the field themselves. That being the case, I hope to direct my comment to practitioners to help soften their hearts towards our police.
- Our police officers are constantly living in danger just to keep us safe. And with all good deeds sometimes it can come with a costly price. It can be very difficult at times serving citizens as a police officer. Your job is to protect those from the many ugly faces of society. So when you and I go to sleep at night in our safe warm homes, there is a police officer risking his/her life just to keep us safe. And sometimes, they actually die. A wife lost her husband, a child lost her dad, a mom lost her son, and so on. Sometimes we forget that police officers are just people living under those badges. A few years ago some of them were class clowns, while others were drama nerds trying to get the lead parts in the school plays. Personally, I believe that many of the men and women who serve are doing well despite the many challenges they've faced. So how can we make their lives easier? The first thing we can do as Buddhist practitioners is show how much we love and care for our police officers! You may disagree with a few of their policies and practices, but only disagree through love and kindness. As Buddha said,
Hatred does not cease through hatred but through love alone they cease.
- Realize that if you were born with their body and mind, there would be no differences between you and them. Their lives would be your life. You would go through the same experiences they've faced in life. You would have the same name, health problems, mom and dad, struggles for acceptance as a teenage, etc... And eventually, you would become a police officer just as they did. And guess what? Their mistakes are also your mistakes too. How? Because everyone is only an extension of yourself. They only appear separate because they live in different bodies and minds, but ultimately, it's only you living under the many masks of life.
- Remember that at one point everyone was your mother in a previous life. This means that the police officer who is giving you a ticket is simultaneously your past mother. Keep in mind that at one point she was worried sick because you didn't come home until midnight. Sometimes, she even lost sleep because she worried about how well you were doing in school. And sadly, it's even possible she may have been the mother who buried you because you died at a young age. Just remember this is the very same person who only wished for your well-being and happiness. And although the officer may not remember his/her past life; at least we do.
- Finally, remember your Bodhisattva vows! You're purpose is to bring joy and happiness to world. Here is a Bodhisattva vow written by st. Shantideva,
"May I become food and drink in the aeons of famine for those poverty-stricken sufferers.
May I be a doctor, medicine and nurse for all sick beings in the world until everyone is cured.
May I become never-ending wish-fulfilling treasures materialising in front of each of them as all the enjoyments they need.
May I be a guide for those who do not have a guide, a leader for those who journey, a boat for those who want to cross over, and all sorts of ships, bridges, beautiful parks for those who desire them, and light for those who need light.
And may I become beds for those who need a rest, and a servant to all who need servants.
May I also become the basic conditions for all sentient beings, such as earth or even the sky, which is indestructible.
May I always be the living conditions for all sentient beings until all sentient beings are enlightened."
Extension: Should we not express what is truth or what we think is truth just because it might step on some toes?
It is because of our compassion and love for others that we are determined to help others. If you feel inclined to share truth for the benefit of all beings, than go for it. As William Shakespeare wrote,
"They do not love that do not show their love."
To name just four persons who've changed the world through love and kindness is H.H. the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Saint Teresa of Calcutta , and Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. What's strange is that every person I just named has a group of enemies who hate them. Mother Teresa and Gandhi both have been attacked on multiple occasions just by sharing love. Did that stop them? No. So here are a few quotes on being active with your love.
"Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love." ~Mother Teresa.
"In doing something, do it with love or never do it at all" ~Gandhi.
"If you wish to experience peace, provide peace for another." ~ H.H. Dalai Lama.
"Our primary purpose in this life is to help others and if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them." ~ H.H. Dalai Lama.
An ounce of practice (service) is worth more than tons of preaching." ~Mahatma Gandhi.
"You have never really lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you." ~Mother Teresa.
"Compassion is a verb." ~Thich Nhat Hanh.
Love is a double-sided sword. It's both internal and external. As Ajahn Brahms punch line go's,
It's cutting two carrots with just one knife."