Shan Conference on Monday: Words from the wise

First of all, I would like to make it loud and clear I don’t consider myself wise. Only that I’m still finding my way to that sublime state. I would therefore be speaking here only as a bearer of messages from the wise.

The first message is from the Dhammapada, which some might call quotations of the Buddha. One of its passages reminds us that “The conqueror begets enmity; the defeated lies down in distress. Only those who have given up both victory and peace rest in peace.” In other words, only a win-win solution brings peace. One should therefore see things from both sides and not just one-sidedly. One accordingly must be ready not only to take but also to give in return for peace – among ourselves, with our neighbors and with the rest of the world.

The second message is that, apart from trust building, there should also be “understanding-building”. Because, as the wise says, “Where there is understanding, there is not hate.” And where there is no hate on both sides, no wars will be fought. Even if understanding is just one-sided, there will be no hate at least from that side. Moreover, to whom there is understanding, there will be no surprises and no disappointments, because the other side is only acting as one expects it to do.

The third message is the old Shan saying, “One should see not only the cobwebs in one’s neighbor’s eyes, but also those in one’s own eyes.” It means we should not blame only the other side for the bad things that have taken place. One should also examine one’s own weaknesses that have led to such unpleasant state of affairs. One should then set off to overcome them. Once one’s weaknesses are overcome, resumption of said unpleasantness could be averted.

The fourth and final message is from one of my teachers: When one of the family members is in a bad temper, it affects everyone else in the family. They will become unhappy and quarrelsome. But, on the contrary, if one family member is at peace, his or her calmness will infect others in the family, making them happy and in harmony. Such is the law of nature.

I would therefore urge all of us here to be at peace with ourselves first, no matter how you do it. Only then we will be able to find a happy solution and bring peace to our people. There is no other way.

May this historic meeting come up with the long-awaited answer to our long-suffering people.


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