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Do not expect "good" returns for doing good

by Kelvin Wong, Singapore, The Buddhist Channel, Feb 17, 2006

This is a reply to the article "A Buddhist's curse to Islamists' bigotry" by Asoka Weerasinghe.

In the article, the writer mentioned:

"Let me remind the Muslims who seem to be so angry about these cartoons that my knife cut both ways, and just not one way. And if I am expected to cultivate religious tolerance and be respectful of others religions, then I expect others to do the same towards my beliefs as a Buddhist."

I feel that in Buddhism we should avoid having this idea that if I do something good, than I expect good in return or others to do good to me. As we know, in the real world a lot of times this don't usually happen.

I feel that we should do good because its part of the practice to develop our qualities and it should be part of that practice NOT to expect a return from such actions as well (such as purposefully merit making to gain good).

Once we have expectations, we are bound to be dissatisfied and with it anger, dissappointment, sadness, hatred and so on

Lastly, I feel that we should be aware that this issue is not just about angry Muslims. It also highlights double-standards in the "freedom of speech and expression" as promoted by some of the European countries.

Whereas they will print such cartoons, you will never see them print similar cartoons about Jews or the Pope, in fact, some laws in their countries prevents that. Hence, the double-standard to freedom of speech and expression.

The bigotry seems to be on both ends.

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