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Editorial Notebook: Learning from those who lost all
By Maria Henson
Monday, Apr. 6, 2009 -
What might happen if you lost all of your material possessions?
The Rev. Bob Oshita, head of The Buddhist Church of Sacramento Hongwanji Betsuin, has congregants who know.
The temple's membership of 1,300 is 70 percent Japanese American. During Oshita's 25 years at the temple, he has ministered to many who wandered back from U.S. internment camps after World War II
"It's really been all about greed," he says, calling the lead-up to the crisis a time when people wanted to get something for nothing and take all they could....There was so much lack of integrity and no sense of how you are affecting others - that interdependence. In a way, maybe people feel they don't represent anything anymore except themselves.....What will emerge will hopefully be more realistic. And hopefully more holistic" in leading Americans to recognize the global connections and appreciate them, he says.
He tells the story of a newscast that illustrates the conundrum of humans facing loss. After a flood in the Northwest, one man's car was swept away by the torrent of floodwaters. The man's house was destroyed. But the man and his family were saved, having been rescued from the car. "His face was so happy" that he and has family were alive, Oshita says, and the man expressed his gratitude.
- Maria Henson firstname.lastname@example.org
I was thinking about cities being on the brink and going bankrupt: But can you imagine what would happen in a city the size of New York with millions of people in it if suddenly they couldn't pay the garbage men or the train drivers or the truck or the bus drivers, subway drivers electrical workers, water men, all the various utilities, school teachers--if suddenly the whole city went totally bankrupt. Well, you can imagine what would happen if suddenly nobody in a city that size got paid and they couldn't buy their food, or the water stopped running, the sewage stopped flowing and the lights went out? Now what do you think would happen?--Riots, brother?--No!--There'd be war!
The tables are once more being over turned as the rich are beginning to themselves be destroyed by their own riches and evil pollution of the earth!
Ted Rudow III,MA