Saturday, November 17, 2012

"A day without working is a day without eating."

"A day without working is a day without eating" is attributed to Chan Master Baizhang Huaihai (Hyakujo), 720 - 814 CE.

In a simplified form, this is often taken as a guideline for personal effort and responsibility in this interconnected life.

Some of the issues that have been raised in various political debates, as well as utilized to attack opponents in the recent election campaigns, and which continue to be explored and debated in the various discussions of economic and tax policies, are themes which also touch on personal responsibility in this interconnected life:

1. What are appropriate rates of taxation, who should be taxed and how much, and what is the meaning of sharing burdens for public needs?

2. How do we distinguish between policies which serve the public, especially those that compassionately serve those in need, and entitlements which result in increased dependence and self-centeredness, with the resulting harm? 

3.What are our attitudes about entitlements to benefits and services, as well as towards distribution of benefits to those to whom we apply categories and judgments such as "deserving" and "undeserving" - and the various abuses of the benefits and entitlement systems? 

4. What encourages economic and national growth and what hinders this while enriching unfairly certain individuals, identifiable groups or sectors of society?

Clarifying  "a day without working is a day without eating"  on an ongoing basis is a nice practice support and useful in our public discussions and responses.

In exploring and clarifying  these matters, what do you find? 

How do these concerns come up in your life, in the life of those with whom you are connected? 

What is helpful and supportive - and what leads to conflict, stress and harm, even fear, anger and worse? 

What is manifesting this awakened life in the midst of this? 

(c) 2012 Elihu Genmyo Smith