When you try to protect the planet earth by whatever you can do, is there attachment, or not? Attachment to the earth. In Buddhism, we speak of, practitioners also speak of the equality, equanimity, non-discrimination. But we also speak about investment. In the Sutra of Forty-two Chapters, it is said that to feed a good person is equal to feed five people who are not good enough. When you feed and keep one good person alive, that person can do more good to the world than the five persons who are not good. You see? So, there is non-discrimination but there is also a kind of the sense of investment. You invest in the good, positive thing for the sake of all, including the one that seems to be the object of the discrimination.
When you save the life of the Buddha, and when you save the life of a sea pirate, you have a choice of saving the Buddha first. Because if you save the life of a sea pirate, you save just one life but if you save the life of the Buddha, the Buddha you saved would help to save many lives. That is the sense of investment in Buddhist tradition. So, that can be looked as discrimination. But in inside, there is intelligence. Intelligence. It's like the practice of two diligence. You do not discriminate against the negative mental formations. You know they are helpful in their own way. But you favor the good seeds and you want the good seeds to have more chances to manifest. That is intelligence and non-discrimination.
And as far as action, non-violent action, compassionate action is concerned, it can never be absolute. When you go vegetarian, you have the intention to avoid killing animals for the flesh but when you boil vegetables, there are many microorganisms dying also. So, your plate of boiled vegetables is not entirely vegetarian. You see? So, nothing is absolute. But eating as vegetarians is more compassionate than eating the flesh of animals. So, there is a degree. So, when you prevent the murderer to murder, there are many ways of preventing. If you have a gun and if you have to shoot him, you may like to shoot him in his leg, rather than in his heart or in his head. Or if you do otherwise, not using your gun is better. You see? If you know Kung fu, and you don't have to use your gun, even if you have a gun.
So, a police officer is very glad to hear that she can carry her gun in mindfulness. She knows that, she hopes that she will never have to use her gun. So, killing a person, one can kill by compassion, of course. But only great beings can do that. And if you kill a person out of fear, out of anger, it's very different. But it's always possible to avoid the violence and to conduct the rescue operations in such ways that cause the least damage. Even if you are a general in the Army, and if you have the conduct of military operation, you have to use guns and soldiers. But if you have compassion in your heart, your way of conducting operations will avoid the killing of innocent civilians and so on. So, the degree of violence and non-violence should be skillful and compassionate. What is important is you should have compassion and intelligence within yourself.