Editorial – How nice can you be?
- Published: Sunday, 25 June 2017 03:06
Jan Nicolaas Kind – Brazil
Jan in his home-office in Brasilia, Brazil
In the March 2017 issue of the Dutch periodical Theosofia (Jaargang 118.Nr.1) an article entitled “Consideration” (in Dutch “Overdenking”), appeared in which the author, Saskia Campert, wonders if indeed Theosophists are obliged to be friendly, loving, or compassionate at all times. In the first paragraph of her piece Saskia describes a dialogue she had with a fellow Theosophist who apparently encounters difficulties with simply being nice 24/7 and experiences, especially in the work place, it to be quite burdening to apply what religious and philosophical systems, including Theosophy always seem to emphasize: kindness, tolerance, non-violence, patience and letting go of the ego. She further elaborates on the subject, mentioning that Zen masters are not always that loving but tough and unkind with their students, quotes a few Theosophists and at the end concludes that, if it is needed, Theosophists may certainly stand their ground, providing certain behavior patterns are considered.
I am particularly interested in the question Saskia raises about having to be nice and affectionate all the time and have often asked myself if, during the years that I have been active in Theosophical circles, I was able to be a shining example of affectionate tolerance and loving kindness or not. Much to my regret I must admit that I probably did not pass all the crucial tests that challenged my behavior.