A Compassionate Society

I encourage you to vote in tomorrow’s election. I hope you will encourage those around you to vote. Our system of governance is based on the fundamental right of the people to advocate for what’s important to us. The government we have and the policies they enact are a reflection of our cultural choices (whether by commission
or omission). Voting makes a difference.

Having said that, I ran across a very interesting essay in the New York Times by the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, who is the spiritual leader of Tibet. He asks why we see such anger and great discontent in some of the world’s richest nations. His answer is that “we all need to be needed…and there is a growing number of people who feel they are no longer useful, no longer needed, no longer one with their societies.”

He goes on to talk about the difficulty in creating a society that resolves these issues. A society that “creates a wealth of opportunities for meaningful work.” A society that “provides children with education and training that enriches their lives.” A society that “protects the vulnerable while ensuring that policies do not trap people in misery and dependence.”

He calls this a “compassionate society.”

Creating opportunity. Providing training and meaningful work. Enriching lives. Protecting each other. Fostering healthy interdependence. These are things we purpose to do at Kimray. Often we do them well. Sometimes not so well.

Maybe a truly compassionate society is one with a culture of love.

Jesus said that our greatest responsibility was to love God, and next we should love others. That’s it. Simple. Clean. Straightforward. Uncomplicated.

But impossible.

The reason our culture is broken is that it’s a reflection of broken people. We are not a compassionate society because we are not compassionate people. Left to ourselves and our natural inclinations, we turn selfish, brutish, hateful, and evil. Without God, there can be no true love.

If Kimray is going to be a compassionate society or culture, the basis must be that we love God. When we love and honor God (which is one of our core values), then we can love others, protect families, care for the creation God entrusted to us, and reflect the image of God to those around us. (Hint: those are the other core values.)

At Kimray, we have the amazing opportunity to live in alignment with the most compelling narrative of history. We can actually create and maintain a compassionate society right here in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA, Planet Earth. Not sometime in the future and not in some other place yet to come into existence. Here. Now.

A Buddhist leader knows what the world needs. Everyone knows what the world needs. We don’t need to explain it; we need to demonstrate it.

I appreciate each of you for the unique way you demonstrate God’s love to one another and to those you serve. You make Kimray a compassionate place to work. You make a difference.