Note: I wrote and originally posted this piece a day before the Paris Attacks. It remains relevant, so I have reposted it in light of the sound advice that Krishnamurti gives all of us as we grapple with our responses to the latest act of savagery of France.
In a slight departure from working the fields of gun-violence prevention, resisting the NRA's propaganda, and generally spreading the gospel of gun-safety . . .
What Krishnamurti wrote in Freedom from the Known, chapter XVI, helps us keep the energy flowing when the work gets tiresome, unproductive, and downright aggravating:
Every day we see or read of appalling things happening in the world as a result of violence in man. You may say, “I can’t do anything about it,’ or ‘How can I influence the world?’” I think you can tremendously influence the world if in yourself you are not violent, if you lead actually every day a peaceful life—a life which is not competitive, ambitious, envious—a life which does not create enmity. Small fires can become a blaze. We have reduced the world to its present state of chaos by our self-centered activity, by our prejudices, our hatreds, our nationalism, and when we say we cannot do anything about it, we are accepting disorder in ourselves as inevitable. We have splintered the world into fragments and if we ourselves are broken, fragmented, our relationship with the world will also be broken. But if, when we act, we act totally, then our relationship with the world undergoes a tremendous revolution.
After all, any movement which is worthwhile, any action which has any deep significance, must begin with each one of us. I must change first; I must see what is the nature and structure of my relationship with the world—and in the very seeing is the doing; therefore I, as a human being living in the world, bring about a different quality, and that quality, it seems to me, is the quality of the religious mind . . . [and] the religious mind is a state of mind in which there is no fear and therefore no belief whatsoever but only what is—what actually is.
I have often thought this, even attempted to say this, but never have I seen it so well expressed.