Every day I get a Daily Dharma email. This one really hit home:
August 17, 2010
Tricycle Daily Dharma
Taking Responsibility for
Surely one of the main problems we face, as a species and as
a planet, is that we are lying in our own excrement. All the waste products
produced by our consumption, from garbage and debris to chemical toxins and
exotic poisons, are oozing out of us and soiling the environment we inhabit. And
what the Buddha says about everything else surely applies here: Nothing happens
without a cause. Things are the way they are not because of chance or the will
of a deity but because people have acted in particular ways and generated
particular consequences. The world we inhabit is the product of our actions,
which are themselves reflections of our minds....
If we do not care for
one another, who else will care for us? Who among us has the right to say of
another, “He is of no use to us?” For better or worse, whether we like it or
not, we are all in this together. Learning how to care for one another is a
central part of the path and of the practice.
- Andrew Olendzki,
"Medicine for the World"
As a society and as a country we live as though we are entitled to owning lots of stuff. How did this happen?
Go in to a Christian book store and there is a Bible version for every type of person on the planet (except gays of course).
Check out a Buddhist magazine and you will find page after page of glossy ads for meditation supplies and new books on how to simplify your life!
Any religion. Any political party. Any race. We all want stuff.
Is it any wonder we are so gluttonous a country that we will go to war, essentially, to protect our ability to collect and dispose of stuff?