A Western Buddhist's Travels

Sightseeing & detours on the path of enlightenment

Acting according to our values.

No matter how many sacred words you read,

No matter how many you recite –

what value do they have for you

if you do not act accordingly?

These words from the Dhammapada are a good reminder to those of any faith or religion. It is not how many mantras, or commandments you learn, or how many vows or precepts you take, it is the simple act of having you actions match your words, that determines if you are a good person. Some would say that a person who does not know these rules, yet instinctively acts with right action and right intent is wiser than someone who knows, teaches, but does not follow those beliefs he professes. Almost all faiths or religions discourage one from stealing, and we are taugh that at a young age, yet how many people steal in the world. Some will say it is OK, if they steal for survival. Here I would ask why they are stealing for survival? Is it because they spent their income gambling and now are destitute, or did they decide they did not wish to make an attempt to earn a living today? Also the society they live in must be held accountable, is it one that show compassion to the needy? Also many people who say they don’t steal use sites on the internet to acquire music, movies and software without paying for the rights to use it. Some say all knowledge should be free, or music is meant to be free. How about the artists or software developers, how are they to earn their living and support their families? What about those who play games with others hearts, stealing them in a romantic game, accomplishing their goal, then running away leaving the other person hurt? What ever values we profess to follow, do all our actions prove what we say? To use a saying common in the west, You have to walk the talk.

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