Rather than put it that way (i.e. negative), I would say I would like to see more kindness and compassion in the words of forum users, rather than being afraid of conflict, etc. I'm not afraid, but many people may be taken aback by insensitive speech on a forum like this. This is because I care about people's feelings, however benign one would think the problem is. Of course, this is something most of us are used to in our daily lives, so a Buddhist forum might be a welcome "escape" from all that contention going on at home or at work. That's what I'm hoping for. I probably sound as if the situation is dire - it's not, I think it's good enough - and I'm just an idealist maybe, but as I said I posted the OP as a reminder and a saying to think about and take to heart - whilst recognizing we can argue with mutual understand and respect.retrofuturist wrote: ↑Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:39 pmGreetings Stiphan,
I appreciate this topic, and I particularly appreciate the honesty quoted here.Stiphan wrote: ↑Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:27 pmBut since this is a discussion forum where each of us have our own opinions and views and we - even though we are Buddhists - still have our defilements and are only making our own different-paced progress towards love and compassion - it is only normal that things are as they are, even though my idealism craves for greater mutual understanding and respect.
Whilst I'm sure we all agree that "harmony" is a good quality, it is worthwhile for us to reflect with honesty about the extent to which a craving for harmony, may just be a mirror image reflection of personal fear or aversion towards conflict, contention, unsettledness and non-conformity.
Regarding 'speakers' and 'listeners', of course speakers should be mindful of what and how they write whilst listeners should be mindful that this is a writing medium and things could easily be misinterpreted, not take things personally, see the others' point of view and respect it, and if there be harsh speech on the speakers' part then try and let it go or "in one ear, out the other".
It would be nice if, here, we could build a peaceful community of fellow practitioners and friends (kalyāṇamittas), but we must recognize that first we must be at peace with ourselves before we are at peace with others, and by this you can already see how difficult it is to create a peaceful community. Inner harmony is difficult to achieve, so the inner arguments we have with ourselves must subside before we stop disputing with others. I forgot which sutta it was but Ajahn Brahm said that the Buddha said this: "I do not argue with the world - it is the world which argues with me."