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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day 54: Adversity

Day 54
A tree hemmed in by giants
Requires tenacity to survive.
-Deng Ming-Dao

He goes on to state, "During times of adversity, vision and determination decide the outcome."

The greatest adversity that I can think of is that of the Dali Lama against the Peoples Republic of China.  His vision and determination to save the people of Tibet from the government of the Peoples Republic of China has failed. He admitted last night on an interview that he no longer wishes to "Free Tibet" because it is so intangled with China that the Tibetans have been integrated into China's education, economy and politics over the past 50 years. The only thing they don't have is religious freedom, which is the centeral aspect of their culture. What is money to a Tibetan if he/she can't even own a picture of the Dalai Lama? The material aspect has it's place, but it is the latter that causes them heatrache. This picture of Tibetan life is true. I know because I experienced it for myself when I was in Lhasa and western Tibet. The Chinese have created a great illusion that the Tibetans have religious freedom because you can see them take pilgrimage at Potala Palace. But, across the street from them stand a number of Chinese soilders in attention with guns watching them.  To fight against this adversity will only leads imprisonment or death. The Tibetans are caged birds.

So, not all adversity can  be overcome. Sometimes there must be acceptance that things cannot always be changed just because you want them to be different. Deng Ming-Dao writes, "Take calculated risks if you must, or face danger if you have to. If your mind is focused to the utmost, you will triumph." Ah, sorry to break it to you Deng, but this is bullshit. You do not always triumph, instead it may be your adversary using the same methods that Deng is proposing that triumphs over you. It's like a two Christan warlords praying to the same "God" for victory. What comes from adversity are winners, losers, prisoners and corpses. Each one of us falls into one of the options, whether we are aware of it, or not.

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