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Buddhism in the News


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Interdependence in World Politics.

Recently American President Barack Obama traveled to Russia and with the help of his Russian counterpart negotiated a deal to reduce nuclear weapons between the two countries. For too long America has seen itself as the only important country in the world, which has bred the three poisons with alarming but predictable speed: Greed, hatred and delusion. Thankfully America now has a leader that better understands how interconnected the world is and just how destructive and counterproductive the "us vs. them" mentality can be. I thought this quote from Obama about interconnection in world affairs was refreshing talk for a political leader because politics is all too often used to exploit people, money and power:

There is sometimes a sense that old ways of thinking must prevail; a conception of power that is rooted in the past rather than in the future... In 2009, a great power does not show strength by dominating or demonizing other countries... As I said in Cairo, given our interdependence, any world order that tries to elevate one nation or one group of people over an other will inevitably fail. The pursuit of power is no longer a zero-sum game - progress must be shared.
James: A verse from the Tao Te Ching comes to mind:

If you want to govern the people you must place yourself below them If you want to lead the people you must learn how to follow them.

Tao Te Ching v.66, Paragraph 2.

Barack Obama isn't a perfect leader but it is refreshing to hear a leader speak of interconnection, interdependence and the oneness of all people and cultures.

~Peace to all beings~

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Vagabonde said...

I just found your blog and read your profile with interest. Even though we are not close in age I share your philosophy completely. I joined Buddhism in San Francisco in the mid-60s, so it has been a long time. When my younger daughter married a young US man whose family came from the Indian state of Kerala, India, (very strong Catholics) she asked me to read something at the ceremony. I read the poem “Walking Meditation” by Thich Nhat Hanh, you may know it, it starts “Take my hand, We will walk. We will only walk“. The priest did not want me to tell that it was a Buddhist poem though. Anyway I am happy to have found your blog and I shall come back.

Adam said...

Beautiful, as always. Once people start to realize that they ARE the Universe, that they don't exist independently of it, I believe that is when we will see some real change in the world.

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