Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Buddha, The Senator, and Suffering

(Cross posted from South Dakota Watch.)

Here is my latest posting on

Read: Tim Johnson, Suffering, and Leadership

An excerpt:

… As we saw yesterday at his coming home celebration, we saw a frailer and slower Tim Johnson who looks as if he as been through a terrible ordeal. The fact that eight months after his AVM he could give a speech to a room full of people is a miracle.

My initial reaction while watching Tim over the streaming video site was sadness. I know what a funny, energetic, vivacious person Tim is. To see him slowed and diminished physically was difficult to see. My thought was, “Geez Tim, you have a gaggle of grandkids now, finish out your term and take them fishing with you.”

Then I thought some more about it and watched the Nightline special last night.

What I saw in Tim is something I’ve seen in others who have endured great suffering. While always a down to earth and compassionate person, I think I could tell that Tim’s physical, mental, and spiritual ordeals have changed him.

The first noble truth of Buddhism is dukkha or suffering. First we need to understand our own suffering. Once we understand our own suffering, we understand that suffering is universal. We understand that others suffer as well… .


They call him James Ure said...

Exactly, and helps us realize that when others suffer--so do we.

Anukriti said...

true, understanding our own suffering helps to understand that suffering is universal and others suffer like us as well.