As you know if you read this blog, I am generally upbeat. I hope this comes across in my posts. Today, however, I feel sad, almost moved to tears by what is going on in the UK. I don’t want to call it My Country because I am not and never have been nationalistic.
What saddens me most, is the apparent greed and self-interest that has taken over our politics. Although history tells us that our wealth in the West has been built at the expense of other, less developed countries, hence slavery, the Raj, South Africa and so on, in latter years – my lifetime and that of my parents – I have seen Britain as a country that does the right thing – the decent thing. OK there’s always been greed, but it has been tempered by our parliamentary democracy and the freedom of our press. Britain’s ability to stick to the agreement, even if it was uncomfortable, has made me feel secure that my values are more or less echoed by the government, whichever party is in power. Now however, we have a Tory party run by too many self-interested, greedy members and their representatives, and a Labour party with a leader, seemingly interested only in obtaining power by default. Jeremy Corbyn has leapt on the possibility of leading an interim government. He sits on the fence about Labour policies and at every stage has ignored the opinion of his party, that his position as opposition leader is what stands in the way of Labour gaining power. The country is divided, and in my opinion, our political choice sits between a furnace and a forest fire.
There is another way though, a middle way as we call it in SGI Buddhism. The SGI is a peace organisation run on Buddhist principles. Recently, I attended an SGI talk, possibly one outlining the latest annual peace proposal by Daisaku Ikeda – I can’t be sure. In this talk, one thing that made me prick up my ears was this (I am paraphrasing): It is much easier for evil people to gather together and gain strength, than for good people to do the same. We are now experiencing the truth of this. There is a saying, that we get the government we deserve, but I would say that we get the government voted in by the strongest, and that, at the moment, is the most angry and greedy.
I feel so sorry for the world, but I will chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo with determination, for the return of leaders with the attributes of wisdom, courage and compassion. Good people can and will make a difference. Each of us has a responsibility to stand up peacefully in our daily lives for the truth. To educate ourselves and seek to understand both sides of the argument. Not to take at face value what we are told in the media. To be motivated by the needs of others as well as ourselves. As President Ikeda said, ‘All fear vanishes the moment we believe with all our hearts, I alone am the scriptwriter of my life.’ (SGI newsletter 7891)“