UNDERSTANDING BRINGS LIBERATION
From the book "Living Buddha living Christ", by Thich Nhat Hahn
In Latin America, liberation theologians speak of God’s preference, or “option,” for the poor, the oppressed, and the marginalized.
But I do not think God wants us to take sides, even with the poor. The rich also suffer, in many cases more than the poor!
They may be rich materially, but many are poor spiritually, and they suffer a lot.
I have known rich and famous people who have ended up committing suicide.
I am certain that those with the highest understanding will be able to see the suffering in both the poor and the rich.
God embraces both rich and poor, and He wants them to understand each other, to share with each other their suffering and their happiness, and to work together for peace and social justice. We do not need to take sides.
When we take sides, we misunderstand the will of God.
I know it will be possible for some people to use these words to prolong social injustice,
but that is an abuse of what I am saying.
We have to find the real causes for social injustice, and when we do, we will not condemn a certain type of people.
We will ask "Why has the situation of these people remained like that?"
All of us have the power of love and understanding.
They are our best weapons.
Any dualistic response, any response motivated by anger, will only make the situation worse.
When we practice looking deeply, we have the insight into what to do and what not to do for the situation to change.
Everything depends on our way of looking.
The existence of suffering is the First Noble Truth taught by the Buddha, and the causes of suffering are the second.
When we look deeply at the First Truth, we discover the second.
After seeing the Second Truth, we see the next truth, which is the way of liberation.
Everything depends on our understanding of the whole situation.
Once we understand, our life style will change accordingly and our actions will never help the oppressors strengthen their stand.
Looking deeply does not mean being inactive.
We become very active with our understanding.
Nonviolence does not mean nonaction.
Nonviolence means we act with love and compassion.