~by Rukmini Walker
My friends Anita and Robert live and work in Washington, DC. Most days they’re out cycling around the national monuments on their bikes, or to and from work.
No cycling in the next few days though, since 25,000 National Guard troops are in DC now to secure the US Capitol for the President’s Inauguration tomorrow. That’s in addition to the thousands of US Secret Service, Capitol Police and DC police that will be out in full force for the event. The capital city is in a surreal lockdown.
I was thinking this morning how we cycle through repeated birth and death, how we cycle through our own strongly held opinions. And sometimes we are ready to fight and die for those beliefs.
I was remembering how Gandhi sacrificed his life for his country, and then at the end he was shot and killed by one of his own Hindu countrymen. US Vice President Pence dedicated four years working by the side of President Trump, and then last week, he and his colleagues were nearly killed when their own “supporters” created a riot at the Capitol Building.
Riding a bike requires cycling in balance. Living in balance requires honoring others, and other points of view, those that differ from the way I think, the way I look, and the way I live. Finding the common ground that we all share, and seeing the spirit that animates us all.
Time moves in cycles, life travels in cycles, but extremist views create a centrifugal force that throws us and our world out of balance.
In politics, in religion, in our daily lives we can choose to cling tightly to adamantly held beliefs that objectify and malign others as evil, or dangerous.
Or we can choose to cycle through our lives in balance, honoring all living beings as sacred and beloved parts of the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna.