I choose not to talk about politics because
- it generally does not change the outcome of elections, especially elsewhere
- it fuels so many unnecessary arguments
- I do not understand everything in politics (nor do I want to)
- I feel politicians never work for the benefit of the people … no matter what they say
- this is what The Buddha had meant by Right Speech
- [bonus reason] there are other more important things to worry about in this 13-billion-year-old universe with my less-than-hundred-year long lifespan.
Time to shut up. I have said too much about politics already.
2 thoughts on “5 reasons I choose not to talk about politics”
I fully agree.
However, the balance is not an easy one. Theravada Buddhists are often accused by Mahayana Buddhists of being too withdrawn from the world. Mahayana Buddhists in turn are accused of being too proactive.
Today, it is “trendy” to be Engaged Buddhists (in the West at least). Activism is fine at the right doses. Again, finding that balance is difficult and necessary.
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Right Speech, indeed the Buddha’s teachings, do not mean disengaging from the world. We should remember that after his Enlightenment the Buddha came back to teach the Dharma. The Buddha did not promote becoming inactive and retreating entirely. Right Speech, the precepts, serve as a guide for how to interact. It is a gross over-generalisation to suggest that *all* politicians are self-serving; the Dalai Lama for example is a politician, but one would hardly suggest that he is self-serving. I can think of plenty of politicians in my country, and my local community, who selflessly serve others and the environment.