November 05, 2008

Post election dharma talk

Image courtesy of wikipedia.

This post was deliberately written before the election and I have no idea how things will turn out. Since I'm sure the results of many different races will be on most people's minds today and that most of us will be thinking that some were good and some were bad, I think a little Buddhist story might be appropriate now.

If memory serves, it goes something like this: One day, a poor farmer's horse ran away. His neighbors came to console him, but he said that this could be either good or bad--who could tell?

The horse came back with several other wild horses. His neighbors congratulated him on his good fortune. Just as before, he said that this could be either good or bad.

Then his son broke his leg while trying to tame one of the horses. His neighbors again consoled him, but he again said that he couldn't really know if that was good or bad.

Shortly thereafter, the army came by looking for conscripts and left his son behind because of the injury. As before, his neighbors congratulated him on his good fortune.

"Who can tell?," he said.

Here's hoping it's for the good.

PARTING SHOTS from the Bush administration may be hard to undo.

INTERESTING INTERVIEW. American historian Eric Foner has some interesting things to say in an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel. Here's an excerpt:

SPIEGEL: In Europe people tend to call on the government in times of economic insecurity. Why doesn't this happen in the US?

Foner: First of all, in Europe it is the ordinary people who call on the government. Here, it is the rich who call on the government. Look at what is happening with investment bank Bear Stearns or mortgage lenders Fannie Mae. They have no qualms about turning to the government to rescue them. That is hundreds of billions of dollars involved there and the phrase here is, they are too big to fail. It is quite ironic.

MOVERS AND SHAKERS. Here's Foreign Policy's take on the world's most powerful religious leaders.


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