A few years ago Chuck Keiser, an Internet friend, sent me an e-mail with a draft of an essay he wrote. When I read his draft all my reflections on life seemed to converge on the phrase “do no harm” and I saw it as the perfect expression of all the teachings I had read and studied and pondered. I was so moved that I felt compelled to respond. So, Chuck and I started the DO NO HARM campaign – an effort to promote and remind ourselves and others to practice harmlessness through thoughtful consideration and to engage others in a ‘circle of friends’ to do likewise.
What attracted me then and still attracts me now to “do no harm” is the simplicity, profundity, and practicality of the message. I love that it is simple enough for a child to understand – for even a child knows pain and suffering, can imagine the pain and suffering of others, and so can act to avoid causing harm. I love that when it is rigorously examined it offers insight into the nature of the world and self – for understanding harm, which is the unnecessary pain and suffering we cause, teaches the inter-relatedness of all things which is the foundation of harmlessness. And I love that it has an obvious, unavoidable, and practical aspect that guides one’s actions which makes the world more pleasant – simply to do no harm.
Since we began we have reached thousands of people across America and all over the world with the message. And I know, with certainty, that the effort, in whatever small way, contributes to creating a world with less suffering and that is enough.
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