In 2017, my goal isn’t to spend more time advocating for the abolition of nuclear weapons. It isn’t to go running every morning at 5 AM. It isn’t to finish my book or practice the violin.
In the new year, I’m hoping to practice kindness, ahimsa. That means slowing down, being aware, and listening to my family, friends, colleagues, and patients.
To quote Thomas Merton,
“There is a pervasive form of modern violence to which the idealist…most easily succumbs: activism and over-work. The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence.
To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is to succumb to violence.
The frenzy of the activist neutralizes his (or her) work… It destroys the fruitfulness of his (or her)…work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.”