As I contemplate Karl Jasper’s idea of “loving struggle,” I find that at least in my understanding, his ideas are quite similar to the ideas of Thich Nhat Hanh. Both men recognize the importance of communication in the peace process. Both see that while it is not easy for us to enter into a dialogue with our adversaries, it is necessary if we are ever going to coexist peacefully. We need to see the world from the perspective of the other if we are to have any hope of resolving conflicts. As long as we negate the suffering of the other, there is a chasm that prevents us from showing them compassion. Why do I need to show compassion to my “enemy”? Because this compassion allows me to become a mindful listener. If the other person/group believes that they are being listened to, that their point of view/suffering is being acknowledged, it can result in a lowering of their defenses. They begin to open up and see that there might be a way towards peace and common understanding.
- “Wisdom for Cooling the Flames” Thich Nhat Hanh (peoplesadvocacycouncil.wordpress.com)