Kate: How is ‘choosing not to complain’ different from ‘apathy’ and/or ‘complacency’?When two things, like pacifism and complacency, look so much alike, how do you know what you are doing? It is clear, in situations like Occupy Wall Street (in its best light) and the revolt that Gandhi led, that we did not see complacency. But how about the monk who faces the wall of a cave for ten years. Is he accomplishing anything, or is he just avoiding the world's ills?
One could say that if you aren't adding wood to the fire, you are assisting in putting the fire out. My walking neighbor won't talk about the Republican nominations because we are so far from the election. Is he being complacent? Today he said that he didn't like the emotions behind politics. Who does?
Part of not being complacent is being right, being on a side. Another way of approaching "life" is simply to look at both sides and see that each has its costs and benefits. The "pipeline" being proposed from Canada to Houston will do good things A, B, and C and will harm D, E, F. Is this an equanimous approach? Not quite (though I am just a beginner at all this). I found this on the web: "But the kind of equanimity required has to be based on vigilant presence of mind, not on indifferent dullness." Equanimity isn't the result of analysis, but of being "in the moment." It is not stepping backward and thinking, but rather stepping inward and opening one's heart.
Some feel that the world will not be habitable for long if we build the pipeline. Can they do anything but covert action ("as a mother risks her life to save her only child")? Is equanimity an appropriate response when a child (or the Earth) is threatened?
Have I given more questions than answers? Hope so!