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on persistence, briefly

Achalanatha, The Immovable Buddha

Achalanatha, The Immovable Buddha

The traditional Buddhist concept of karma has a lot of implications for thinking about the short-term results and the long-term view [of persistence]. Although the analysis of karma is fairly complicated in Buddhist thought, its basic thrust is fairly simple: actions have consequences.

Good actions have good consequences, bad actions have bad consequences. In any given moment of your life you are presented with a situation whose roots are in the past. This situation is a given. You cannot change it. But in the middle of this given situation you face a choice: what will you do? Will you be discouraged and impatient, emphasizing the worst of the situation, or will you, with persistence, make the effort to turn that situation around toward the good for others and yourself?

No matter what your situation is, no matter how fortunate or dire it seems, this choice is always there, always staring you in the face in each moment of your life. It’s inescapable. And each moment, whether you intend it or not, whether you make an effort or not, you always do inevitably make your choice. Consciously or unconsciously, every moment you are choosing your life, and that choice is always decisive, never trivial.

–Norman Fischer, Taking Our Places: The Buddhist Path to Growing Up


About Justin Jacoby Smith

I’m Justin Jacoby Smith. Some people call me “hoosteen.” I live just outside Washington, DC. I like punk rock & country songs. I’m a data monkey. I Occupy DC, because a better world is possible. I’m a cohost & contributor for Voices of the 99%. I’ve served on the editorial board of the DC Mic Check. I briefly developed digital strategy for The Parley. I write poems. Sometimes I get published. Dig it.

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