Being the change is a terrible place to stop

The Story of Stuff was a video made a few years back that has come to represent the message of current environmental thinking.

Now, a (shorter) sequel, The Story of Change, has been made:

While this time I didn’t find the content quite as “revolutionary” as the first, there was a part that struck me:


… as Gandhi said, “be the change”… Living our values in small ways shows ourselves and others that we care, so it is a great place to start

But it is a terrible place to stop!

After all, would we even know who Gandhi was if he just sewed his own clothes and sat back, waiting for the British to leave India??


How true.

There are usually two modes of thinking among the Singapore Buddhist community. One mode clamours for change, asking that Buddhists review their rather apathetic approach towards spreading the Buddhadharma. The other mode believes that as long as we work hard at our own practice, it would naturally rub off on people around us, so there is no real need to “actively” engage in missionary work.

Extending from what Annie Leonard says in the video, working hard at our own practice is a great place to start, but it would be a terrible place to stop, if we want to address the decline of Buddhism.


Someone should use this song for Buddhist camps!

I picture something

It’s beautiful

It’s full of life
and it is
all blue

I see a sunset
on the beach

It makes me feel calm

When I’m calm
-> I feel good… And when I feel good
-> I sing… And the joy it brings
-> Makes me feel good… And when I feel good
-> I sing… Of the joy it brings…

I see birds fly
across the sky

Everyone’s heart
flies together

Food is frying
and people smiling

Like there is no
other way
to feel good…

And when I feel good
-> I sing… And the joy it brings
-> Makes me feel good… And when I feel good
-> I sing… Of the joy it brings

I say! Come on along!

I know you really wanna feel our song

We’ve got some life to bring

We’ve got some joy in this thing!

Got to get youself some of that Freedom!

The Freedom Song
Jason Mraz

Fist bump!

Okay I never knew it was called the fist-bump. A guy from lab used to have one with me whenever he saw me in the morning. I caught the wind and starting doing it to random people too.

Today’s news reported that His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama did his first fist bump! Haha!

Then I googled fist bump. I didn’t know that Obama did the fist bump with his wife after he won the Democrat nomination! Cooool!

And trust the Yankees to have National Fist Bump Day on June 3rd because of that!

But guys, fist bump is no longer in:

And yesterday just read Bhante Dhammika’s blog post on greetings, where what struck me was the quote from the Sonadanda Sutta (DN 4):

When people went to meet the Buddha they always found him welcoming (ehisagatavadi), friendly (sakhila), polite (sammodaka), genial (abbhakutika), engaging (uttanamukha) and the first to speak (pubbabhasi), and while he accepted greetings and gestures of respect from others, he was not overly concerned about whether or not this was done or how it was done.

After a man named Sonadanda took the Three Refuges, he confided to the Buddha that he had a particular problem. He was a brahman and his income depended on the respect other brahmans held him in. If they saw him bowing to the Buddha he would lose the respect of his peers and his income would suffer.

‘So if on entering the assembly hall I put my hands together in greeting, consider it the same as if I had stood up for you. If on entering the assembly I remove my turban consider it the same as if I had bowed at your feet. If when riding in my chariot, I were to get down to salute you others would criticize me. So if I pass you in my chariot and I just lower my head, consider it the same as if I had got down and bowed at your feet.’

The Buddha had no problems with Sonadanda’s way of paying respect, presumably because he had sympathy with his predicament and because how social formalities were done was of little importance to him.

So true…