What is the very least we can do in 2017?

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If I can’t do anything useful, at least I would like to do as little harm as possible.  Wherever You Go, There You Are, by John Kabat-Zihn

photo by Lainey Piland
Lainey Piland photo

Do no harm is a practice found in various aspects of society – including the Hippocratic Oath – and it was the underlying principle of Mahatma Gandhi’s revolution and his personal meditation practice. But what does it mean? Is it really as simple as doing no harm? You tell me.

Do no harm: Don’t do anything while driving that will piss off other drivers.

Do no harm: Don’t speak ill of others behind their back.

Do no harm: Don’t use social media to bully or anger an individual or a group of people.

Do no harm: Don’t ignore the server or courtesy clerk who’s working as hard as he/she can for you. Engage them in conversation; make their day by respecting what they do.

Do no harm: Don’t be unkind to anyone; think of how it felt when someone was unkind to you.

Do no harm: Don’t litter or do anything that harms the environment, regardless of how small.

Do no harm: Don’t put off a kindness such as sending a card to someone for no reason at all – or for every reason you can think of. Your card and message may be just what that person needs that day.

Do no harm: Don’t ignore the impulse to turn around to the person behind you while in line to say, “I’m not in a hurry, why don’t you go before me.” You may not be in a rush and he or she may be; think how your thoughtfulness will impact the remainder of their day.

Do no harm: Don’t keep compliments to yourself. For example, if your spouse or friend looks nice, tell him or her. It doesn’t do the person any good if you keep it to yourself. Your lack of attention may cause harm.

Do no harm: Don’t expect someone else to make a difference; you make a difference in whatever way you can, even if doing so is an inconvenience. Your inconvenience may be just what the world needs at that very moment in time.

Do no harm: What I have provided above barely scratches the surface of how we can do no harm. Please add your input in the comments section below to provide all of us with examples of how we might improve our personal corner of the world.

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My wish for you: health, joy, and peace in the New Year.

 

 

 

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