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In order to realize my full geek-out about the four brahma-viharas, I need to recognize and talk about my personal favorite: Metta (often translated as "lovingkindness" or more simply, "kindness"-- toward both others and ourselves.

What can I say about metta that hasn't already been said? Probably nothing-- but that doesn't I won't try! Most people know the old adage that, "You catch more flies with honey, than with vinegar". Well, there's certainly an element of that folk-wisdom in the concept of metta-- who among us doesn't appreciate a word or gesture of kindness, from another? Kindness is always-- always-- appreciated.

While it's true of all four of the BV's, I especially love the inward-facing and the outward-facing nature of metta. It's both personal (about me, and for me), as well as social (about others, and for them). Kindness is kind of that way, isn't it? Gets me humming the classic Burt Bacharach song, "What the World Needs Now"-- metta's the only thing that there's just too little of.

Other modern-day words that touch some of the same notes as metta? "Civility", "respect" and "professionalism" come to my old lawyer's mind. Those are terms that get a lot of mention in the legal world, and I'm sure the same is true in other business and social circles.

Doing unto others, as we would have them do unto us-- that's the Golden Rule in the Christian realm and I'm sure the same sentiment is also embraced in every other religious/social group that has ever existed. Universal truths have a way of being, well, universal.

Metta has a place in all worlds-- the sports world, the business world, the everyday world-- you name it. The only reason kindness is not honored and embraced at all times and in all places, is that we don't make the effort.

Let's change that-- we need a mettamorphisis!


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