One day I dropped my sword and shield
And as it turns out, it freed more than my hands
It is not unusual for me to want to see someone hurt; this is the metaphorical sword. It is not unusual for me to want to protect myself and limit my vulnerabilities to others; this is the metaphorical shield. On a good day, I find freedom in heaping compassion on all living beings, and opening myself to the reality that me and the so-called other are actually one. It has been said that resentment is like taking poison and expecting another to die. Resentments hurt me first, and then often go on to hurt others. It has also been said that hurt people hurt people. However, it is possible for me to break that cycle. And when the cycle of hurt is broken, I am the first one freed. To live this way requires a lot of vulnerability, that is, dropping my shield. While our culture often lifts up the virtues of the warrior, I believe that a willingness to experience hurt without passing that hurt on to others takes more courage than hurting others. Punishment as a lower form of justice. Also, by offering a break in the cycle of hurt it serves as an invitation to others to break the cycle. The point is not to visit the karma of violence upon another but to escape that karma. This is a higher form of just us.