Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What would Buddha do?

One of my sisters gave me a "What would Buddha do?" hat for my birthday. Earlier this evening I read a story about an interaction with Buddha's 8 year old son and Buddha. Buddha returned home after his 8 year journey and his son went after him for his inheritance. The son kept asking over and over again, until finally the Buddha saw that this was one persistent kid. So he invited the kid to follow him. The kid, leaving a palace of riches, had no idea what he was getting into. As we have no idea about a book by looking at its cover.

So 33 years ago we had this daughter who decided to get married (she's the book that doesn't quite look like what we imagined when we decided to have another kid). When my wife and I got married, we went down to city hall and tied the knot. Then we went out with our "witnesses" for a drink. I had a gin and tonic, which I suppose was my drink of choice in those days. Today my daughter showed me the colors of the tablecloths and napkins that will be at her wedding dinner. I saw a consummate craftswoman reminding me of two PBS programs on TV last night on the making of Steinway pianos and a second on making fine guitars. This kid of mine was intent on making the perfect wedding. And my wife and I volunteered to assemble the wedding invitations (believe me, it is more complicated than stuffing envelopes). I'm not complaining... just wondering if she's trying to make up for the wedding we didn't have.

This morning she told me her car wouldn't start, so I removed the battery and took it to a garage to be tested. It was bad, so I found the receipt from Sams. Well, the problem was that I was not a Sams member. So I joined Sams (in my mind on a trial basis) to see how they compared to Costco. I had been a Sams member for years in St. Louis but in Austin joined Costco. Costco is thriving, bustling, and has name brands for many of their items. Sams appeared to be 1 breath away from the grave. I couldn't believe the difference in two warehouse stores blocks away. Perhaps in other places Sams is better, but the north store in Austin is sad indeed.

Hey, I found cans of pinto beans which, added to some homemade carrot soup, spinach, and brown rice made a delicious dinner (with a little salt, pepper, and hot sauce). And I got the new battery, without even a carrying strap. So can I complain?

So what would the Buddha do in today's world? Would he read mail? Would he drive a car? Would he join Sams? I know two people here who have taken vows of poverty. And they are very peaceful souls. They don't need Sams. They just need enough food for the next meal. And the rest of us? Our needs extend way beyond the warehouse stores.


Kate Freeman said...

So what would the Buddha do in today's world? --- Mr. Kim

I think he would definitely wear your hat.

Barbara said...

Eric and I got married much as you and Linda did -- a justice of the peace, his wife as our witness. We attempted to interest our son in our type of wedding. He chose another path. We embraced his choice. What else could we do? Somehow the love shines through.


I told my grandson Charlie what my teacher told me 60 years ago... that a work of art is finished when none of the original idea remains. So...