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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Poison and Medicine

I just read a daily blog from Brian Johnson titled "Let's Change Poison Into Medicine."  In it he shares this wisdom from another author, Alex Lickermann:

“From the Buddhist perspective, I told him, all of us have the capacity to make use of any circumstance, no matter how awful, to create value. This ability to “change poison into medicine,” as it is known in Nichiren Buddhism, makes plausible the transformation of even the most horrific tragedy into something that enables us to become happier. . . .

... Believing in your ability to transform poison into medicine when you don’t know how, and often won’t except in retrospect, is difficult, I admit. But that’s the confidence you have to find. That’s the confidence that represents your greatest defense against discouragement.” 
Upon first reading this I couldn't help but think of the tiny pill I, and millions of other people, take every day that keeps us alive.  This tiny pill is commonly known as the drug Coumadine. It's generic name is warfarin.  That's right.  One of the most widely used and successful drugs in the world is actually a controlled dose of what was first developed as rat poison.

Without getting into the particulars of current events, let's just simply say there is a lot of poison in the world today.  Some of the most deadly poisons of human interaction are fear, hatred, greed, pride, and prejudice.  Perhaps it's time we as races, nations, communities, and individuals begin the difficult but necessary work of transforming our poisons into medicines.   

The very thing we fear may just be the thing we need to work with the most.  We just may need to first learn how to control the dose. 


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