[FOUNTAIN]Embrace Buddhist wisdomExpressing what we want to say or do without reserve, is stubbornness. There is no room for ideas or opinions that are different from your own thinking. You will never back down from the claim that your way is always right. Not listening to the opinions of others often makes you self-righteous.
When the stubbornness becomes pathologically serious, you may suffer from a condition called “perseveration.” More serious symptoms such as aphasia may appear. Those suffering from perseveration repeatedly express their own thinking even when asked different questions.
Similarly, they repeatedly write the same phrase or do the same action many times.
Stubbornness is a kind of obsession, a different form of refusing to listen to others and insisting on one’s own opinion. The Sanskrit phrase “asmimana” refers to “self-importance” and literally means, “I am.” If you think that only your ideas are right, you fail to open your eyes to the objective environment and the flow of your surroundings.
In Buddhism, ego-pride is considered one on affliction. Whenever you have a chance, you try to insist on your narrow-minded opinions and become unwilling to yield to others, causing trouble and friction with those around you.
The president is known for his unyielding spirit when it comes to making personnel appointment decisions, and his style falls under the category of stubbornness. Nominating Jeon Hyo-sook as the chief justice of the Constitutional Court and appointing Jung Yun-joo to the head of the Korea Broadcasting System were very typical of President Roh Moo-hyun’s appointment practices. The citizens have been watching many similar cases of the president obstinately sticking to his choices without listening to opposing voices.
However, his frequent mentioning of leaving the presidency creates serious worry. The chief executive repeatedly makes a comment that is bound to bring systematic instability. We can rightfully suspect him of suffering from perseveration, a step further from stubbornness.
In Sanskrit, “dhuta” means “to shake off” or “abandon.” According to the teachings of Buddhism, one needs to practice “dhuta,” or shake off in order to be free from obsession. You can do away with afflictions when you shed obsession, self-pride, attachment and obstinacy. The code of the president symbolized by President Roh Moo-hyun has only created issues that deviate from the essence of society. How about embracing the Buddhist wisdom that teaches the pleasure of shaking off?
The writer is the Beijing correspondent
of the JoongAng Ilbo.
by Yoo Kwang-jong
More in Columns
Finding our place
Diplomacy is about trust
More good than harm
For balanced information intake