I hear you. It's an interesting thing - it's a complicated thing because on the one hand - what people we surround ourselves with, in the early stages of life especially, that affects life more than anything else; the people we associate with, our friends, and so to be a little selective about who we bring into our close circle, that's one of the very-most keys of life. . . navigating, succeeding, and so forth; I learned this at an early age, partly by observing.
It's also complicated because the very words, thoughts and actions we say and do affect our encounter with every single person we meet; and well, okay I won't go off into the endlessly complex, lol!
One thing is - if I ever decide, someone, some individual is not worthy of my friendship, that never sits well with me. Maybe that's conditioning. The opening lines of Hsin Hsin Ming write it out very nicely. . . 'the Great Way is not difficult, but it detests any picking or choosing,' and goes on to say if we make even a hair's breadth difference, then it's very far away.
Oh! besides this one - there is the very good one from Zen (and others') that makes the point, if we view others with empathy, then we'll naturally help them as automatically as we would bandage our own arm. . . that seems to be the epitome of compassion to me. . . that empathic sense, etc.
This morning these thoughts were in my heart/mind:
Stopping the war is immediate, necessity,
nothing else really comes close.
Engaging in healing and peace work with veterans - when possible, available, appropriate, and so forth - when conditions arise -
is basically identical to all efforts in the first place to stop the war,
because the point is that we are trying to prevent that from happening in the first place. . . and this seems so simple and true to me.
Also, I can just say it's very rewarding. . . because this is like - Dharma in action; putting it into practice, applying the salve where it will do the most good.
As well as Thay's statement of those who have been through war, have the responsibility to share peace, he also says, don't shut yourself off from suffering, be in contact with those who are suffering by all means, were his words, this helps wake us up.
I'm not saying to spend one's whole life on this one thing, yet if it comes up - when circumstances arise, if you meet a veteran where your friendship and so forth can make such a difference, as I say it can be very rewarding - and still, generally best to make sure one knows peace well, before trying to lead others there -
In other words, seek peace and then share it. . . And also, don't bite off more than you can chew. . Anyway, it does all happen naturally.
I had something more to say but I don't remember it.
My prayers are with you my friend.