All We Can

Whatever beings there are, may they be free from suffering. Whatever beings there are, may they be free from enmity. Whatever beings there are, may they be free from hurtfulness. Whatever beings there are, may they be free from ill health. Whatever beings there are, may they be able to protect their own happiness. – Buddhist meditation.

The above must be the Buddhist version of the Prayers for the People, found in the Book of Common Prayer, and said in church in some fashion almost every  Sunday. I find myself concentrating on two aspects of this meditation. The first is the phrase, “Whatever beings there are.” Since I know only enough about Buddhism to be dangerous, I suspicion that the meditation does not limit itself to humans, and as I think about it, who wants and enjoys watching any being, human or animal suffer, be abused, be in ill health, or unhappy. I also believe as I concentrate on the phrase, “Whatever beings there are,” that this meditation carries a message of inclusiveness. Black, White, or Brown; Gay or Straight; Man or Woman; and all combinations on earth are “beings” entitled to the same treatment and love of God and humankind, no exceptions – all are beings.

I also am drawn to the last phrase of the Buddhist meditation. We can’t control the suffering, the enmity, the infliction of hurtfulness, or at times the ill health, but we do have some control over our happiness, at least for a time. It’s called the human spirit, and when we are no longer able to control it, we know and can say we have done “all we can.”

“All we can” is part of each of our callings. I don’t think God necessarily asks of us to succeed, but nudges us to do only “all we can.”

About the author

Webb Hubbell, former Associate Attorney General of The United States, is an author and speaker. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, A Game of Inches, The Eighteenth Green, and The East End are published by Beaufort Books and are available online or at your local bookstore. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps and The Eighteenth Green won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller.

Leave a Reply +

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.