Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Live Like A Buddhist in the New Year

I like the 40s. Everybody called each other "brother," or "sister," just like the Chinese do. I think it got started during the Great Depression, and it carried over into the early 1950s. By the late 50s it was gone.

We are all in the same boat. We are all born, we are all going to die. We all laugh, we all cry. We all have likes and dislikes. We all have a collection.

For some reason, I think that in the coming year we will have to learn how to stick together. We'll have to get out and actually cooperate with one another. I think something is going to happen that is going to galvanize us into doing that.

Of course, I could be wrong. But, just in case I'm not wrong, why not get a head start? Go around the neighborhood, and meet the neighbors. Learn where the old people are living alone, and lend a friendly hand. Talk to everybody just like you were talking to your brother or sister. Don't go shoving the smug, or start getting up in everybody's business -- just try to be human. If somebody wants to bore you to tears telling you about some nonsense they saw on the television, just smile and listen politely. If somebody needs help, then give them help.

So many western Buddhists I see appear to get caught up in Buddhism as a means of alienation. I am suggesting to you that this is an entirely inappropriate approach. I am suggesting to you that real Buddhism starts with just one simple thought:

We are all in the same boat.

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