If “ignorance is bliss” and “romance is bliss” then romance must be ignorance, right? No, I don’t think so. It’s a faulty syllogism. Right now, a lot of people are concerned about illegal immigration. They think a rising crime rate is a problem of illegal immigration. They think immigrants are taking jobs legal Americans could otherwise have. They think they are overcrowding neighborhoods, draining government resources for education and healthcare. Are these observations valid?
Consider who settled Georgia, among other of the original 13 colonies which had a large contingent of convicts from their native land–England. They worked out OK in the end. If illegal immigrants have fake social security cards, with bogus numbers, who gets the benefit of any FICA taxes collected from paychecks? Those dollars go into the U.S. Treasury for the benefit of the Social Security fund. What jobs do these people take? The ones no one else wants. But shouldn’t we care that they are illegal? Yes, but the whole issue is an overblown distraction, a red herring, an easy target at which to point. So what? It avoids thinking and acting on real problems facing America. A failure to resolve this overblown problem then becomes yet another source of frustration with the government and politicians–avoiding personal responsibility for one’s own success or failure, one’s own happiness.
What do the following have in common? “The Devil made me do it!” Thank God I got that promotion!” Or perhaps, “If only we could move to the country, then we would be happy.”
They all give credit, blame or control to someone or something outside ourselves. The devil doesn’t make anybody do anything; people choose to do things. God doesn’t whisper in employer’s ears, advising on who should get promotions. Why would a change of scenery make life any happier? Happiness lies in the confidence not only that you control your own destiny, but that you can achieve whatever you want or overcome whatever adversity faces you. If you are unhappy where you are, going somewhere else just changes the view–not the reality. This is a small glimpse of the value of a Buddhist perspective on life. More to come.
I am cheating, you might say, but it is early in this blogging game. What I have to say today is not really content, just more description of what I will be saying when I do have something to say. All of which is to say that some of the categories I expect to include items on are:
- War and Peace
- Applied Buddhism (what is that?–you’ll see)
- Politics (yuck)
- Financial issues
Well, that should be enough for a start. More tomorrow.
Welcome to Views from Eagle Peak! This is where I will pass along my observations on a variety of topics. I am off to a slow start at this, having spent countless hours getting up the Waiting for Westmoreland website and the Eagle Peak Press website. But the publishing world has convinced me that an author must have a “platform”–most often created these days via a blog. In connection with Eagle Peak, the general notion is to create value by revealing the laws of cause and effect at work in day-to-day life–whether at home, in the workplace or the world at large. I’ll give you some examples in the next couple days.