Following the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and many others, I think it’s important to relate a story I was told a few years ago.
I went to a gathering of supporters for Tibetan freedom featuring several Tibetan Buddhist monks who had been captured and tortured following the Tibetan “uprising” of 1959. One monk told of being captured and forced to act like a draft animal pulling a cart as part of a dam-building project. He told of being whipped and living on a daily bowl of broth for months. He and a few other monks escaped the prison camp and made their way to India. All of the remaining monks in the camp were worked to death or killed.
The monk also told of an uncle who had fought as part of the resistance to the Chinese takeover of Tibet. The Chinese, he said, came to his village and took note of all those missing. Assuming the missing were freedom-fighters, the Chinese killed the families of the missing.He concluded by saying that his entire family had been killed along with all of the monks in his monastery.
When he finished his story, a member of the audience asked what I considered an absurd question. “How does that make you feel about the Chinese?” he asked. The monk responded, “I bear no hatred toward the Chinese. They are doing what they believe is correct. Our plight is the result of our karma,” he said.Upon hearing the monk’s response, I was embarrassed by the anger his story fueled in me. Then I felt an inner peace as never before.
Please remember this story the next time you or someone you know is the victim of hate. Nobody should be harmed for expressing his or her beliefs.