I love the picture of those monkeys with their eyes, ears and mouths covered. They are a physical (and entertaining) representation of the idea of seeing, hearing or speaking less “evil” into our environment.
While I’ve always liked these little figurines I’ve never fully appreciated their meaning in my life personally.
I’m just like most Westerners, I watch my night time dramas, I have eaten my fair share of cows and pigs and I have often raised my voice at my kids.
What I had failed to understand in the past is that the quality of the information we take into our being (by seeing and hearing) determines our quality of life and how we interact with those around us.
So in essence when you hear and see NO EVIL you lose the capacity to SPEAK (or act) evil as well.
But what is evil?
I don’t believe in Satan or demons so I’m not really talking about that. I’m talking about the little pieces of negativity that we allow into our lives.
You know, the Facebook arguments that we allow ourselves to engage in. The violent programs we watch on television. And the constantly negative news that we tune into each night.
We often times think these things don’t have an effect on us. That because we are not acting in the harmful ways that we see and hear in the media then those things have no effect on our lives.
But don’t they?
Studies have shown that children who are exposed to violent television become “desensitized” to that particular kind of violence. So when they do witness the death of an actual person its “no big deal”.
We know this intuitively when we consciously decided to stay away from the negative and drama filled people in our lives. We feel like they are “bringing us down” so we try to disassociate from them when we want to live a more positive and uplifting life.
The fact is, just as the food we choose to eat determines the quality of our external physical health, so does the quality of other sensory experiences determine the quality of our emotional and spiritual well-being and actions.
So what’s a girl to do? I gotta use Facebook to keep up with my family and distant friends – right?
I gotta watch the news sometimes to know what’s going on in the world – right?
Well here are some suggestions to help you hear no evil and see no evil, so that you can speak (and act) no evil in your life.
1. Turn off the television
You knew that was coming didn’t you? That’s not to say not to have a TV in your house. I personally have a few televisions in my house. But I don’t’ feel the need to watch it all the time and to mindlessly watch ANYTHING.
I’ve become very selective about the programs I watch. NOT because I am trying so hard to see no evil, but because I am more interested in the more positive and uplifting programs.
So for instance my favorite networks are Food Network (I love to cook and eat), Veria (which is a wellness network) and OWN (which has lots of great information on spirituality).
Maybe the travel channel or HGTV might be interesting to you. The point is TV is a tool. One of many that can be used to improve the quality of your life, or simply suck vital energy out of you.
2. Be around positive people
There is a reason that most religions advocate fellowship with such fervor. There is just something about being around people who are positive and happy. They smile more. They are happy for you and your accomplishments. They are optimistic when you are having troubles in your life. And they are generally on a journey of being the best them they can be.
Negative people seem to sap our energy. They drag us down in their drama. They make us feel BAD for feeling GOOD. And that is no place to spend your time.
3. Read or listen to inspirational messages.
Here we go back to church again. Wonder why religious congregations meet regularly (at least once a week)? It’s probably because we need to be constantly re-introduced to the sources of inspiration in our lives.
So maybe you have a church that you like to attend. Go there and enjoy (and then go home and practice) the lessons taught in the sermon.
Maybe, you love to read so you buy inspirational books on topics that you like. I’m not talking “trashy” romance novels here (although I do enjoy those too). I’m talking more about books from authors like Stomie Omatian, Ernest Holmes, or Gary Zukav.
The point is to have an available go to source of inspiration.
4. Be grateful
I saw a documentary about kids in Kenya who were applying for a scholarship program to attend college in the United States. What struck me at first was how incredibly POOR these kids were. I’m not talking American poor either. I’m talking no running water or electricity in their homes. Cooking over a fire in a fireplace. And milking the family cow for the morning’s milk.
But the second thing that stuck me about these kids was how HAPPY and content they were. They had no clue how poor they were, because they had nothing to compare themselves to. They were grateful for all that they had (and they didn’t have much)
So I bet we can be grateful. We can sit down every day and list at least five things in our lives that we are grateful for.
I once read that the practice of gratitude was a huge determination of happiness. I totally agree with that.
5. Be still
Sometimes we just need a minute of peace don’t we? Just a time to be still and observe what is going on within ourselves.
When we take a break on a regular basis to “check-in” with ourselves we are better able to identify when something is not quite right. When we are having a bad mood. When we are having a good mood. Then we can start to track that mood to better understand what is causing it.
When we don’t take the time to be still, our emotions and internal drama fester. Just like a disease festers in our bodies if we don’t see a doctor regularly.
So set some time aside regularly to quiet the activity of your day and be in tune with yourself.
There are lots of things you could NOT do in order to keep the negativity out of your life, like fasting from Facebook for instance. I prefer to focus on the things that support your positive well-being.
When you focus on the positive, your life tends to move in that positive direction.
And those Evils we talked about earlier?
They may still be there, but you don’t notice them, because you have placed your attention on something else.
How do you hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil?