Ideas are emerging on what “Mindful Politics” might be. Seems folks have agreed on the name, but what this political force is is getting worked out in a bit of a chaotic way in unconnected spheres – which is good; it’s exactly how words and phrases should come into use: in the jungle of untamed ideas. What is consistent is that there’s a search afoot by compassion-minded politics-interested folks for something new in reaction to harsh political discourse and many years of hardhearted, mule-headed policy decisions. Doubtless, some have in mind creation of a counterforce to the sickening and democracy-destroying game playing and truth twisting of Karl Rove and his brand of power politics.
Right livelihood has ceased to be a purely personal matter. It is our collective karma. Suppose I am a schoolteacher and I believe that nurturing love and understanding in children is a beautiful occupation. I would object if someone were to ask me to stop teaching and become, for example, a butcher. But when I meditate on the interrelatedness of all things, I can see that the butcher is not the only person responsible for killing animals. He does his work for all of us who eat meat. We are co-responsible for his act of killing. We may think the butcher's livelihood is wrong and ours is right, but if we didn't eat meat, he wouldn't have to kill, or he would kill less. Right livelihood is a collective matter. The livelihood of each person affects us all, and vice versa. The butcher's children may benefit from my teaching, while my children, because they eat meat, share some responsibility for the butcher's livelihood.