A friend is compiling short testimonials about coping with “isms” (racism, classism, heterosexism, religious prejudice) in higher education for college-bound kids from underrepresented populations. She asked me if I had anything to contribute because her wife mentioned that she thought I’d come from a working-class background. It got me thinking.
I know, I know. Dancing teddy bears. But at least Jedi has that element of redemption. At least its basic message is that there is an innate goodness in Annakin that can be pulled out from behind the silly plastic mask. And I would argue that the path away from suffering is the crux of the issue in Buddhism; not suffering. Not a self-righteous Jedi knight who ” calmly sits in a meditative posture in order to prepare to face the villain.”
It seems to me that the word â€œoffendedâ€ is thrown around a lot nowadays, particularly in the current Presidential election. It seems to me that there are a good number of folks so quick to be offended by things â€” and a second group so quick to tell the first to get over it â€” that the word has lost all meaning. That people are routinely offended by things and getting over them so quick that none of us has the chance to really stop and think about why weâ€™re offended in the first or if itâ€™s something we need to get over or not.
Let’s not forget that no matter how powerful the Executive Branch makes itself, local politics still matter. And also let’s not forget that the ability for any real change to happen will be due in part to what happens in Congressional elections. And of course let’s not forget that in the state of California, we’re going to have to defend what the courts recently, and rightly, put into law.
I’ve posted a series of pictures from the sand mandala creation in Atlanta. All the pictures are over at my wife’s and my other website, PrecariousCat.
This paper, a revised and stripped down version of Chapter 3 of the dissertation, was presented at the XVth Congress of the International Association of Buddhist Studies on June 26, 2008 in Atlanta, Georgia.