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This seems like an easy one; don’t kill people. But a resolve not to kill, to cherish all life, is much deeper than that. Yet, still simple.

I can easily avoiding killing people and have done so to the best of my knowledge so far. But cherishing life is not a passive thing, but instead an active one. It requires that I am a vegetarian, as taking a life for my pleasure (which is the only reason I eat animals, the pleasure of the taste, nutrition can be gained elsewhere).  It allows for eating eggs and drinking milk if I can be confident that the life of the animal isn’t one of unnecessary suffering (the images of a egg laying machinery in the movie Samsara are not easily forgotten).

And then cherishing people. All people, the ones I judge as jerks or bigots or arseholes or whatever term I use to put myself as better than them. Can I cherish all people even if it is a situation where the person is causing harm, or unskillful, or someone that I need to avoid for my health? It helps if I know that I don’t know.  Meaning I don’t know any ones full story, and until I do, my judgement about them is based on half truths through my biased opinions.