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Buddhism in the News


Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The Little Shrub.

This is one of my favorite poems and sounds very much like something a Zen master would say. It reminds me of the teaching to be in the present moment and try to be the best you can be in that moment and not to worry too much about what will come:

"Yes if you can't be a pine on the hill, be a shrub in the valley, but be the best little shrub on the side of the road - be a bush if you can't be a tree.
If you can't be a highway be a trail.
If you can't be a sun be a star.
It isn't by size that you win or fail - be the best at whatever you are."

-Dr Martin Luther King.

James: It's so easy to feel insignificant and worthless in this world that constantly tells us that we aren't good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, rich enough, healthy enough, spiritual enough and on and on. Well I say, enough with the expectations because no matter how hard we try to be perfect it will never be enough because as Buddha taught us this very existence is imperfect. It's so hard to remember this sometimes but it's so true and when it does click for us it is so liberating from our suffering and self-doubts. We must remember that while we might be comparing ourselves to someone else--they are comparing themselves to someone else too.

~Peace to all beings~

PHOTO: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh.

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Debra-Dawn said...

Dr King seems to have been quoting a poem from Douglas Malloch.

(which strangely enough was in a book of mixed poems I bought yesterday... )

"Be the Best of whatever you are"

If you can't be a pine on the top of the hill,
be a shrub in the valley - but be
the best little shrub at the side of the rill;
be a bush if you cant be a tree.

We cant all be captains, some have to be crew,
there something for all of us here;
theres work to be done and weve all got to do
our part on the way thats sincere.

If you cant be a highway, then just be a trail,
if you cant be a sun be a star;
it isnt by size that you win or you fail...
be the best of whatever you are.

I found the poem in a book from 1963 called "Ideals"...

how strange that you blogged part of the poem when you did... and i read the poem when i did...


indeadears said...

I've been thinking about this topic a lot lately...

The common thread of what I've been saying to myself starts with "We can't all be..."

I keep comparing it to numbers since I tend to be able to communicate through that better.

What if all numbers were the number 10? The life of math would not exist (at least as we know it to). It wouldn't work. Not all numbers can be big in value, some even have to be negative.

The "value" of each number to the world of math is irrelevant of the numeric value of it. Their importance is equal.

We place all of our focus on our material (numeric) value.

This has been a reoccurring thought for a while now and very strange to run across both this blog and the comment!

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