A significant premise of the Hippocratic oath, which Physicians take upon receiving their medical degree, is to “first, do no harm.” For all intents and purposes, healthcare professionals aim to care for their patients with the goal of ameliorating their ails, injuries, and protecting their lives and well-being to the best of their ability. Quite a noble and demanding promise, indeed. One in which, perhaps, would significantly benefit humanity, other species, and the earth, if we all decided to strive for the same intention. What if we all as individuals focused our mindsets on doing the least harm possible in our day-to-day lives? Could we make notable strides? Could we at least minimize our impression cast upon our world during the short allotment of time in which we inhabit this incarnation? Could we make a difference? I believe with conviction that we very well can. That every smile to a stranger, every time we hold open a door for a person or let them pass our car on the road, every choice to bring our own shopping bags into the stores, each time we restrain our frustration and anger at a difficult situation, and every bite we consciously consume make small, yet lasting, imprints of added beauty, inspiration, and joy into our world and, simultaneously, to ourselves as an added incentive. Nobody is perfect and it is impossible to expect a flawless journey. Yet, there are small acts, deeds, and impressions we can all try to incorporate into our daily lives that can lift, calm, and inspire a better world.
Here are five ways to initiate the process of doing no harm and adding to the collective compassion of our universe:
1. Choose plant foods over animal foods. The contribution to animal cruelty and environmental degradation can be infinitely improved with each and every choice of plants over animals. Additionally, it is the healthiest diet for the human body which provides you with a solid foundation by which to function and thrive.
2. Know thyself and to thine own self be true. Say “yes” to opportunities that make your body sing and “no” to those that make you feel uncomfortable. Trust your instincts and feel your decisions before committing to them.
3. Recognize one another’s struggle. We are all dealing with pain, stress, and fear in our own ways. With less defensiveness and judgment we can be more empathetic and supportive, leading to deeper compassion and unity.
4. Remember that anything about someone else that irks, bothers, or offends you is a direct reflection of something about yourself you may want to address. We are human. We are evolving. Allow that information to help you question your reaction – as opposed to defending it – so that it may strengthen and educate yourself about you.
5. Rise above our ego’s urge to be defensive, to protect its identity, and to mark its stability. Nothing is permanent and everything is dynamic, fluid, and dancing with time. Being open and willing to learn and grow is far superior to fighting for the status quo. Change needs to happen and we can all contribute.
What are other ways you recommend to lessening the harm in the world and in your heart? As a collective conscious, connection and flow are indispensable and proactive….I welcome and request your contributions in the comments below….