和平的代价

前些日子,我和一位好友永喜一起吃午餐。他问我: “是否只要目的正当,我们就可以不择手段?” 我想了一会儿,再回答: “那么如果现在我们最终的目标是世界和平,但是得杀死每一个人…(因为没有了人,也就不会有争执,最终达到和平)这样还对吗?

我们在日常生活中所做的决定往往并非生死大事,但常常处在灰色地带,难以分辨对错。我个人觉得做事方法既然是为了达到目标所采取的行动,那么我们不应该把目标和方法分开来看,而应该一体对待。

另外,我们有些时候会发现,当我们想做某件事或采取某些行动之前,会不断地三思,甚至觉得难以决定。在这种状况下,很明显的-做事方法与结果的对错可能已经失去平衡。

汉译:燏

原稿:http://buddhavacana.net/2006/07/20/what-price-peace/

 

Inventor of ADHD’s Deathbed Confession

INVENTOR OF ADHD’S DEATHBED CONFESSION: “ADHD IS A FICTITIOUS DISEASE”

The German weekly Der Spiegel quoted in its cover story on 2 February 2012 the US American psychiatrist Leon Eisenberg, born in 1922 as the son of Russian Jewish immigrants, who was the “scientific father of ADHD” and who said at the age of 87, seven months before his death
in his last interview: “ADHD is a prime example of a fictitious disease

Parents, teachers and child educators, you may wish to take a second look at the child under your care.  Are we not giving our children a chance to grow up naturally?  In our attempt to have our child grow up fast enough, study and be more competitive, we are led to believe that our children have a disease when what they really need is some time to grow up.

The consumption of pharmacological agents altered the child’s behavior without any contribution on his or her part.

That amounted to interference in the child’s freedom and personal rights, because pharmacological agents induced behavioral changes but failed to educate the child on how to achieve these behavioral changes independently. The child was thus deprived of an essential learning experience to act autonomously and emphatically which “considerably curtails children’s freedom and impairs their personality development”, the NEK criticized.

Follow the link to read the full article.  http://www.worldpublicunion.org/2013-03-27-NEWS-inventor-of-adhd-says-adhd-is-a-fictitious-disease.html

Learning to Listen (Bonus Video Inside)

Sometimes what people need from us is a listening ear.

I
know how that feels like, to really just need to share something with someone.  Ok, I felt that way like maybe twice in my whole life, but I digress.

A long long time ago, I read this interesting book “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus” and chuckled over the insightful note that men tend to be fixers while women tend to be listeners.  Almost any time women share with men the challenges or difficulties they are facing, men will put on their “Mr-fix-it” hat and start offering solutions.  Meanwhile women feel a disconnect, that they are not being heard.  After awhile, the man tend to stop offering solutions, or in some cases just zone out.  Then women would feel even more strongly that the man in their life is not listening to them!

It does not really matter whether the solution is valid or not, ‘cos sometimes people, not just women, do not someone to talk to or be heard, to feel like they are not alone facing their problem.  Sometimes all we really need is that emotional or morale support really.

Those of us with a “Mr-Fix-It” hat glued to our hat, can learn to go easy with our hammer as well. Not all conversations are about a nail that needs hammering or a hole to be plugged.  If we really want to help with solutions, it is vital to first listen as well, otherwise we might be bring a plumber’s wrench to fix an electrical wiring fault, or as some would say, to bring a sword to a gun-fight.

I share this not because I’m faultless, but because occasionally, I would do that as well.  Recently, a friend shared with me her experiences in active listening training on how various factors like postures, body language, eye-contact, affirmation can promote listening.

A key point was on listening without thinking.  Most people are lost in their thoughts without listening completely to what the other person has to say.  We are busy formulating our reply or answers and are just waiting for a chance to have our say.

Her sharing struck a few cords in me.  Besides the book “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus” I mentioned above, it also reminded me of the counseling training I had back during university days by Shan You Counseling Centre, the training in consulting earlier on, and how that’s exactly what I saw in people whom I was having counseling or discussions with.

Many people were indeed drifting away mid-sentence, either thinking about other matters or waiting for a chance to reply … or give advices!

So I was somewhat surprised when my friend told me that me jotting notes while counseling meant that I was not 100% listening.  It got me thinking whether I am a good listener.  Perhaps I’ve gotten jaded over the years and assumed that I know all the intricacies of people’s mind and the problems they face and so I stopped listening so much.  Or maybe I’ve become complacent and thought that I can listen and write without colouring my hearing?  While I like to think that I do listen, as with most things, it is probably a shade of gray and I’m probably somewhere in between.

It is a good reminder to listen, to listen attentively with our heart.

Perhaps the next time you drop by and talk to me, you will see my pen resting idly on the writing pad or book, while I listen to what you have to say.  And if you ask me any questions or need me to suggest a solution, then will I start writing, drawing, sketching and illustrating my point.

Be like Guan Shi Yin Pu Sa 觀世音菩薩, listening attentively to the cries of sentient beings in the world, ready to care, comfort and love all.

Happy Vesak Day!

Bonus Item

A very revealing video on how active listening is most important! :p

It’s Not About the Nail from Jason Headley on Vimeo.

七个包子的故事

从前有两个志同道合的朋友,麦佳柔泥和佳碧。 有一天,他们俩约好一起吃午餐。由于佳碧知道麦佳柔泥从小就喜欢吃包子,所以两人不约而同地决定午餐就吃包子!佳碧给自己点了一个大包,也为好朋友点了一样的大包。

那一天,麦佳柔泥非常饿,很快地就把大包给吃完了。但是他还是觉得有点饿,便请佳碧为他点多一个大包。吃完了第二个大包之后,麦佳柔泥还是觉得有点饿,又再一次请佳碧为他点多一个大包。。。就这样,麦佳柔泥吃了第三个大包,第四个大包,第五个大包,第六个大包,一直到第七个大包。

这时候,佳碧不禁松了一口气,心想:我的好兄弟终于吃饱了,没想到他的胃口竟然那么大。。。但是麦佳柔泥似乎有些心思。

“好朋友,你在想什么?是不是要我再点多一个大包啊?”

“我在想。。。我是吃了第七个包子才觉得饱。早知如此,我就不该吃了前

Of Buddhism And Businesses


A few groups of students interviewed me recently to find out how, if any, does buddhism or buddhist values affect singaporean businesses? Below are some thoughts.

Subtly, Buddhist values such as love, compassion and simplicity has brought awareness to people over the last 25 over centuries. It is said that Steve Job’s iconic style of simplicity in design for Apple products draws inspiration from the Zen Buddhist tradition.

Within the business environment, it is important to know when a decision is legal and when it is
ethical. The two are not always inclusive. It is perfectly legal to retrench a whole division or wrap up a whole subsidiary that is making a loss, but it would be unethical to do so without considering the impact on the staffs whose livelihood depends on the company.

In our drive to increase our margins, we may forget that we are more than simply numbers in a balance sheet or GDP. Having sound material foundation is important, but if a nation, the society only focuses on growth rate and P/L, then it would be akin to buying a car to earn money just to maintain the car and not go anywhere with it.

Life is not just about making money. No, it is not about making money at all. We have much more potential than simply being a cog in this whole well-oiled Singapore Incorporated.

Increasing productivity only helps us consume earth’s resources faster. Making profit is now not enough, having growth in profit making is not enough, do we really need to having growth rate that is double digit? Is that what life is really about?

Whatever beliefs and values we have that is good, wholesome and beneficial to ourselves, our loved ones *and* others, we should seek to better ourselves and pursue them. We should strive to bring happiness and welfare to one and all, and seek to remove suffering from our fellow human beings.