The 14th Dalai Lama once said, "It is the motivation behind an act that determines whether it is violent or non-violent. Non-violent behavior is a physical act or speech motivated by the wish to be useful or helpful."
The desire to bring mindfulness into daily life arises out of wanting to be truly useful and helpful for the benefit of all other beings. In this compassion, all forms of anger and hatred must melt away, from, in the words of Matthieu Ricard, the simple fact of not liking someone to the revulsion felt towards murderers.
Yet all around us, the selfish acts of the noncompassionate are doing violence to our world. Often, quite literally, to the Earth. To use some examples cited by Ray Anderson in his book Mid-Course Correction:
All over the world, aquifers are being dehydrated or, worse, polluted. The Ogallala Aquifer, that great reservoir under the American Midwest, is being rapidly depleted, with the implication of famine right here in our own country.
25 billion tons of topsoil are lost worldwide every year, an amount equivalent to all the wheat fields of Australia, with a hungry world population increasing by 90 million a year.
A disproportionate share of the Net Primary Production, the usable product of photosynthesis, is being usurped by the human population - one species among millions taking nearly half for itself - and pushing the ecosystem toward overshoot and collapse for thousands, maybe millions, of species.
The rate of species extinction has risen at an alarming rate to now between 1,000 and 10,000 times that average rate since the mass extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. As many as a quarter of all species of plants, animals, and microcosms on Earth - millions of species - are likely to be lost within a few decades; as many as three quarters face extinction in the 21st Century.
Vast areas of natural forests are cut in Brazil, a critical lobe of Earth's lungs, to clear land to raise soybeans to feed cows in Germany to produce surplus butter and cheese that piles up in warehouses, while a million displaced forest people live in squalor in the ghettos of Rio de Janeiro.
Illnesses from pesticide poisoning number in the millions each year, resulting in uncounted deaths.
As Bogart said to Bergman in Casablanca, "The problems of two people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world." However, he probably wasn't thinking that a hill of beans would be a blessing for millions of people in the world . . .