Saturday, 14 July 2012

The Politically Correct Buddhist

As we approach the coming election let us consider one of the precepts in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh:

“Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful speech and the inability to listen to others, I am committed to cultivating loving speech and deep listening in order to bring joy and happiness to others and relieve others of their suffering. Knowing that words can create happiness or suffering, I am determined to learn to speak truthfully, with words that inspire self-confidence, joy and hope. I will not spread news that I do not know to be certain and will not criticize or condemn things of which I am not sure. I will refrain from uttering words that can cause division or discord, or that can cause the family or the community to break. I will make all efforts to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, however small.”

What say you, politicians?

Any advice on how to approach the coming election? How to be politically correct? 

Let us also consider the following:

“The only reason we don't open our hearts and minds to other people is that they trigger confusion in us that we don't feel brave enough or sane enough to deal with. To the degree that we look clearly and compassionately at ourselves, we feel confident and fearless about looking into someone else's eyes. ”
Pema Chödrön (Happy Birthday by the way!)

So, I guess the politically correct thing to do is to listen with compassion. 

Sean Flanigan
Charlotte, NC