Enlightenment

In ancient Rome, legions were sent out to destroy the “Barbarians”. In the middle ages, Crusaders went out to conquer “savages” in the name of “civilization” and God. But were such campaigns any less barbaric or savage than the people they labeled as such?

Later came a period known as the “enlightenment”. It helped form the framework for a more civilized world. It was an intellectual movement, which helped dispel many myths. It opened minds.

But there’s also another type of enlightenment. The kind that Buddhists often refer to. Enlightenment in this context is not the same as education. Education can lead to greater civility, but it can also re-enforce savagery. There have been many well-educated dictators and murderers.

True enlightenment is seeing others as yourself. Enlightenment is compassion for all. And no one is more “civilized” than those who are compassionate toward all.