True Compassion.

As I glance through YouTube I see many arguing over diet, ethics, and the environmental problems of animal agriculture. I see my fellow vegans becoming angry with meat eaters. I hear the words ” I just don’t understand” being repeated over & over again. To develop compassion for others we must first understand them. Us vegans will drive ourselves crazy with this mindset of misunderstanding. I hope to inspire others to practice a vegan lifestyle but do not wish to force others to be vegan. People change on their own time. You can not force anyone to be more compassionate to animals or care about the health of themselves & the planet. Forcing another is a violent act in itself, which goes against my vow of non violence. The world will change in it’s own time. All we can do is live our message and share it with others. If our message is peace & compassion, then we must be peaceful & compassionate with our meat eating brothers & sisters. Peace is the way.

Understanding others is necessary for compassion, love, & peace. I ate a meat/dairy/egg based diet for 27 years and have been vegan for 2 years. How can I judge anyone who still consumes animal products when I ate them most of my life? My focus as of now is to develop true compassion for those who consume animal products and especially for those who advocate for them in ones diet. True compassion is when we can show compassion to those we disagree with. It’s easy to show compassion to the innocent & weak. It’s much more difficult to show compassion to a slaughterhouse worker but nothing could be more important than developing compassion for them as well. Slaughterhouse workers are often immigrants who are recruited to work long hours for little wages. They often suffer from PTSD from the horrific violent acts they see on a regular basis. There are documented cases of slaughterhouse workers dieing from bacterial diseases and neurological diseases from freshly slaughtered animals.

I also feel strong compassion for those who suffer from chronic diseases from eating animal products all their life. From heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, colon cancer, and many other diseases that could of been prevented with a whole food plant based diet. They were lied to be industry and led to believe that they are wild carnivores that need to eat meat every meal for protein. So much unnecessary human suffering. My heart goes out to them & their families.

I hope to inspire my fellow vegans to be more compassionate & understanding to our meat eating brothers & sisters. Many of us were meat eaters most of our life. Who are we to judge? We are not perfect enlightened beings floating above others. Let’s focus our energy on educating others while showing compassion & understanding to them. This way we don’t drag ourself down with anger, rage, & misunderstanding. We can allow compassion guide our life. How will they ever understand compassion if all we show them is apathy? How will they know peace if all we show them is violence? Our own life is our message to the world.

With Aloha,

Johnny Hoffman

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Volcanic Eruption (Christchurch Mosque Shooting)

Fear bubbles underneath the volcanoes surface.

Pain filled smoke seeping to the surface.

Anger, hatred, & rage boiling inside.

Until one day,

A vicious explosion destroys all in it’s path.

Leaving only pain & suffering to all.

Innocence lost in a moment.

How could this happen?

Will there ever be peace?

Fear, anger, hatred, & rage live within all of us.

Simmering under the surface.

Compassion leads us to love & understanding.

Love & understand can tame the simmering flames within us.

Peace begins & ends with us.

This poem is in response to the Christchurch mosque shooting on 15 March 2019. RIP to all who lost their lives and condolences to all who were touched.

Peace Starts With Me.

Violence on my TV.

Hatred in the YouTube comments.

Fear of the great unknown.

This is the suffering of humanity.

So how can I help alleviate this suffering?

By inquiring within.

Within my violence & hatred.

Within my fear.

By showing compassion to darkness in my soul.

Peace will only be known if we become it.

Path Unknown.

In front of you is a dense forest. Alone your mind wanders of what lies ahead. The path will be treacherous at times. Will you survive what lies ahead?

Dark clouds lurk above.

Fear, worry, & doubt in every step.

Will I survive the path unknown?

 

I could just stay in the cozy open field.

Take the easy route.

Ride out my one life in a security blanket.

Imprisoned by doubt.

 

Step into the lush forest.

Embrace the path unknown.

 

 

 

 

 

Big Egos.

The ego whispers “you’re right”. Unchecked, our ego will lead us into hatred of anyone who different than us. Hatred cannot be stopped by more hatred. It’s a vicious unstoppable circle of ego, fear, and hatred. Without the light of peace, the circle is infinite. Apathy & fear fuel the ego. I believe compassion and love can bring humanity true peace. Does humanity really want peace though? That’s a million dollar question. If we truly want peace we have to be mindful of the ego and its tendency to label everything as “right” or “wrong”. Labeling is the first step to hatred and violence. Labeling isn’t always bad (foods, streets, colors, etc) but when we label our fellow humans we put them in boxes; which we then label “right” or “wrong”. This distorts reality and makes peace difficult.

Understanding is the first step towards peace.

Without understanding peace is not possible. This is why mindful listening is so important in peace talks. Understanding the suffering inside another is a skill we can develop with compassion. Understanding, compassion, and peace are intertwined at their core.

Do we truly want peace or to be right? 

I see this in my fellow animal right’s activists. Well-intentioned people who let their ego blind them. They care more about being right than understanding meat eaters. They end up pushing their meat-eating brothers & sisters further from plant-based living; causing more violence in the world. We all have been guilty of letting our ego take control of a conversation. I intend to show true compassion to all living beings, even those who believe the exact opposite of me. How will they know peace if we don’t show them? MLK, Gandhi, Jesus, Buddha, and Mother Theresa all preached this message of peace.

Let’s start today by mindfully listening to others instead of allowing our ego to lead into hatred. If we truly want peace in this world we must live peacefully with all living beings. By living this way, we leave the world a better place than we arrived.

With Aloha,

Johnny Hoffman

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Be the Change.

“We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change.”

Mohandas Gandhi

The world seems to be on the brink of destruction. News station reporting new mass shootings every week. ISIS beheading videos posted each month. Global climate change killing our ocean’s coral reefs and causing severe hurricanes. How do we keep sain? How do we live our lives with love in a world full of hate? That last question is a tricky one. We are actually living in the most peaceful time in human history! The difference is that our ancestors lived in small communities with little knowledge of events happening outside of their village let alone other countries. In a world of 24/7 news, we have become addicted to outrage, fear, and worry. We are not only what we eat. We become what we watch, listen, and pay attention too. So if we only watch the news, then it’s understandable why we have become fearful of the world. The internet is a medium of total human consciousness. Lots of random thoughts and ideas scattered throughout YouTube, blogs, and Facebook. Within the internet, there is a lot of fear, hatred, and worry. The internet is full of white noise. This white noise can distract us from living a meaningful life full of purpose, altruism, and growth.

Back to the purpose of this blog post, how can we change the world when we are just one small part of it? As Gandhi said, we must become the change we want to see in the world. This will keep our spirits high and keep us motivated on our path. You would be surprised at how much you can change the world with your diet, consumer choices, and by simply living your life in line with your values.

To begin our journey to living an intentional life we must be radically honest with our self. Radical honesty is saying what you truly mean without being mean. Many of us walk around being dishonest with our self. This leads to pain, suffering, and steals joy from our lives. We are fearful of the truth because it will make us uncomfortable. What we don’t realize is that our happiness is often found going through that discomfort. If we don’t face it, we often suffer in stagnation for the rest of life.

I now eat a whole food plant-based diet. Most of my life I was eating a standard meat & dairy diet all while claiming to love animals, environment, and my personal health. BUT my actions were not in line with what I was saying. I was being radically dishonest with myself. I knew the horrors of factory farming but still contributed to it. I was fearful of the discomfort of switching my diet and having to let go of a tradition. Through cognitive dissonance, I rationalized violence and unneeded suffering for my taste buds. I recommend watching “Cowspiracy”, “What the Health”, or “Forks over Knives” on Netflix.

Saying we are compassionate does not make the world more compassionate. To change the world into a more compassionate place we must take compassionate actions every day. Be the change.

We also can take action in the clothes we choose to buy. Many sweatshops make their employee’s work 16 hour days in unsanitary and deadly work conditions. They pay their employee’s extremely low wages so we as consumers can get cheap clothing and goods. “The True Cost” is a great documentary on Netflix about the problems of fast fashion in developing worlds. We can change the world by being more intentional with our dollar by choosing to buy used clothing or from companies that provide better working conditions and wages for their employees.

Do we want to be part of the solution or the pollution?

My intention is to never judge another for causing unneeded suffering in the world. I have caused plenty of pain and suffering in my life. My true intention is to empower myself and others to make healthier choices that cause less suffering in the world. Shaming rarely get’s other people to make long-lasting changes while empowering others energizes the spirit and keeps us strong for the long haul.

Here are some of the ways we can take action today to make the world a more peaceful place for all living beings.

-Transitioning to a 100% plant-based diet.

-Choosing fair trade.

-Organic produce.

-Buying ethical clothing.

-Not buying wool or leather.

-Reusable water bottles and containers.

-Less driving. More biking & walking.

-Buying locally.

-Cutting back on consumer goods.

-Buying used.

-Transitioning to solar energy.

We can take action right now to make the world a better place today, tomorrow, and for the coming generations. Let’s be the change we want to see in the world. In this way, we can preserve compassion, peace, and love in our hearts and minds. We will be living intentionally and authentically with our true self. We will be living our message with is much stronger than just speaking it.

With Aloha,

Johnny Hoffman

2003098-Paulo-Coelho-Quote-The-world-is-changed-by-your-example-not-by

Vow.

Where there is hatred, I will show love.

Where there is fear, I will show trust.

Where there is doubt, I will show faith.

Where there is apathy, I will show compassion.

Where there is violence, I will show peace.

 

I vow to show others another way.