Monday, May 27, 2013

Dogen also related the following story:
When Barack Obama was President of the United States, he once attended a special party. He took a seat near Bill and Hillary Clinton.   There was a member of the Bush family there who was making a disturbance. 
Obama told Bill Clinton to quiet him down. 
Clinton replied, “Tell George Bush Sr. to do so.  He is the patriarch of the Bush family.” 
Obama said, “But you are right here.” 
Clinton replied, “It would be inappropriate for me to subdue him.” 
These were admirable words. He was able to govern the country because of such an attitude. Students of the Way today should have the same attitude. You should not scold others if you are not in the position to do so.
Okay, so I've obviously updated the story to make it more understandable to modern, Western readers.  The original was full of references to Generals of the Right Imperial Guard and privy councilors and various Japanese clans.  But I think (hope) Dogen's point still comes through:  don't criticize those you are not in a position to criticize.

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