We Are Not Martyrs

To me, Ahimsa starts from within.  If a person cannot genuinely be kind to themselves, it is difficult (at least for me) to accept that such a person is capable of being genuinely kind to others.  After all, we are not martyrs.  Personally, I often find that I take on more responsibilities than I need to, whether at work or at home.  Sometimes it’s just because I cannot bring myself to (for lack of a better word) “order” someone else to do it ; other times, I will admit that there is a self-interested agenda.  Whatever the underlying reason may be, I find that this always translates to resentment towards the people who should have (and in most cases, could have) shouldered the responsibility in the first place. 

Reflecting on what Ahimsa means to me, I think it is about starting small, and working your way up.  In other words, first be kind to yourself and reject the negativity in your life.  Yes, things need to be done and most of the time, they should have been done yesterday.  However, there are many ways to skin a cat and you do not have to die trying.  I think that once our hearts and our minds are aligned, we can establish ourselves in truthfulness and only then can we truly practice Ahimsa to the people and things around us. 


Daphne Chua