Thought for the Day

Monday 12 February

The enemy is more easily overcome if it be not suffered to enter the door of our hearts, but be resisted without the gate at its first knock.

— Thomas à Kempis

Eknath Easwaran's Commentary

The body is rather like a city with five gates, the five senses. We are fairly fussy about what enters the gate of the mouth. But just as food enters the mouth and goes on to nourish or damage the body, sense impressions enter consciousness through our eyes, ears, nose, and skin, and in most of us the traffic is somewhat unregulated. We all want to be open to experience, but we also need to be watchful. When impressions come knocking, we need to check IDs.

Take popular films, many of which glamorize violence. We can pretend this is only entertainment, bearing no relationship to real life, yet every year violent crimes enact with terrible precision episodes from television or movies. In our violent society, how can anyone argue convincingly that witnessing casual cruelty on television does not affect us? We all have a personal stake in not supporting any of the mass media when they give us poisonous food for our eyes, our ears, and our minds.

The Thought for the Day is today's entry from Eknath Easwaran's Words to Live By.