Humans choosing to live differently is something I have emphasized a lot in these writings. Within it, there is room for expansion, creativity, study, growth and tremendous change in the positive! This is one problem with the current setup. We are basically stuck between the two-told that we are all supposed to do, be and strive for the same. Between religion and capitalism, there is currently little room for variation or diversity. Yet, diversity is essential. Diversity is the answer.
Through the years I have been glad to know of creative people of characters who can think outside the box and create their own place, their own reality. One of my favorite quotes is by Daniel Quinn “there is no one right way for everyone to live.” He is right. This is okay. The world would get awfully boring. I know of people and some of my friends who are modern nomads. They live only in the present moment, and carve out and ethical and honest life. Would this be the answer for everyone? Of course not; neither would this be possible, but it is thought provoking. After all, everyone on the planet trying to “make a living” doing basically the same thing driven by GDP may have served its purpose, but is now outdated. Another example of people who voluntarily live differently is the modern vegan movement. Thie movement itself isn’t without its valid criticisms, and it is an urban creation, but in it is consistency, lighter eating/living and people of character.
But perhaps the most striking example that my long time readers will recall is my friend David who decided to become a Buddhist monk. This was no small task. David knew what he wanted to do having paid off all his debts, (a requirement for the Buddhist discipline), sold his house and he now lives in Thailand. Monastic life is an honorable way to live in many respects, even if it is not for everyone and that is just the point. Buddhist monks, (bhikkus) are celibate; many disciplines eat only two meals a day, and they are engaged in important works of study, prayer, service and meditation. This is by choice. They choose to enter this disciplined way of life. I can tell you that David knows his stuff; he is disciplined, informed, strong, and was very much at peace with his decision when I met with him before he left. He was ready, having spent years of training in practicing meditation, study and peacefully praying.
Interestingly enough, lay persons, especially men in Thailand are encouraged to spend a year or two in monastic life. This makes for better husbands and dads when they return to life as lay persons. Two years will sound familiar to long-time fellow Utahn readers. However, instead of the rhetoric of this or that religious branch, timeless universal wisdom, which continues to recycle itself, of which all faiths of this earth are dust particles in the vast living universe is a more accurate description.
When you see a bhikku, bhukkini, monk or nun please give them a silent nod in respect. Not only have they earned it, but they are a prime example of humans that are both willing and able to live differently by choice adding to the much needed diversity of the human world.
Thank you for reading,
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