Sunday, February 26, 2017

Bringing Good Out of the Bad

The political situation in Korea has received a great deal of public interest and one of the articles in the Catholic Peace Weekly shows how everything can be enlightening and for growth in spirit and intellect. We have something similar but different, in the Christian Scriptures with 'Happy Fault' and 'all things work together for the good'.

A Bodhisattva in Buddhism is one who has achieved Nirvana or Buddha-hood but postpones the state to do good and help others in this world of trials. A Reverse Bodhisattva  (逆行菩薩) is a person who by his wrong actions helps the beholder to reflect on these wrong actions to act in a contrary fashion because of the crudeness experienced. He becomes a person for whom we show gratitude. The wrong actions are a strong lesson on what not to do. 

The phrase (國政 壟斷) (state monopoly) is used to describe the present upside down turn of events in society. The phrase comes from the Confucian tradition where a merchant goes up a mountain where he can see all that is happening in the market below and buys what is missing and begins to sell the products at a high price: using the disadvantage of others to make a killing for himself. This was seen happening in the political situation with the supporting and starring characters.

Another phrase used is (他山之石) (his mountain stone) which is taking a stone of little use from a mountain to polish the jade you possess. A person's hurtful and useless words and actions can be used to enhance your own knowledge and virtue. Everything can be used as a lesson to live virtuously.

(反面敎師) (Negative teacher), can be understood as similar to the above. We learn to do the opposite of what is spoken because our consciences tell us what is to be done: opposite to what is being taught.

(三人行必有我師)  (When I walk along with two others, they may serve me as my teachers) You learn from the virtues and to avoid the vices of the companions with whom you walk.

The writer reminds us of the situation in society and it is not always clear who are the supporting players or those who have the starring roles, but they are all on the stage influencing the citizens. In a democracy, the actions we have seen have reminded the citizens how important it is to think deep and long before casting a vote. Big Busines has taught us the influence they have on society is not always for the best.

Doesn't the recent situation also show us how important solidarity is in running a good government? Efforts to get rid of our apathy is the first step in achieving an honest society, consequently, mature citizens seek something beyond their own comfort and personal needs.

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