I had a very wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with dear friends yesterday. In so many ways these dear friends are buddhas. They regularly act out of generosity and compassion by opening their home to strangers in need, rescuing abused dogs, providing free professional counseling services, among other things, with never a thought to what they can or will get in return. Yet they suffer with enmity. Their son was making racist and truly harmful comments about the football players while watching the game, the father regularly is constantly getting frustrated and upset by how the world is unfair because of how he has to struggle economically (but he's really not struggling) compared to all the rich people that have it easy and all the poor people that get more help than him. They live on a long residential street that cars like to race down, so as we were out on the street with me getting into my car another car well down the block started gunning their engine while coming toward us. He immediately started to get all upset and swear, saying he wish he had his gun so he could fire some warning shots to slow the "sumbitch" down (this is Texas where things like that really do happen sometimes).
Anyway, my points are:
1, they are great teachers in how I can be better as far as generosity goes.
2, they are great teachers in how needless enmity creates needless suffering.
3, it occurs to me that they are not alone, that there are lots of buddhas out there creating their own suffering with one hand while relieving the suffering of others with the other hand. And there is a lesson in that, too.
My metta chant today will go out to them, as it does on many other days.