K. Ken Fujimoto
Sometimes people talk to me and I have no idea what they are talking about. The best example of this is when some of the Lotus students are talking to me. Most of the time it is because I am not used to how they speak so I need one of the teachers or one of the assistants to translate what they are saying so I can respond. Other times they are talking about things with which I am totally unfamiliar so I need more explanation to understand what they are trying to tell me. Often, it is a combination of both.
One time, some years ago, a young boy, about the same age as a Lotus student, was in a state or regional park and told me, I thought, that he saw a weaver. Since this was a park, I thought that they must have a demonstration of traditional crafts somewhere, so I asked what the person was making. He replied, “Nothing, just swimming.” This had me confused for a bit before I realized that what he was saying was that he had seen a beaver and not a weaver.
It can be perplexing, but it is also a growing experience because these types of situations give me insight to show me things I would not otherwise think about. However, this is not limited to the Lotus students or other young children. Similar situations can happen with older people as well and, not, with just really old people either. Different groups have different jargon or terms that they use in unique ways that may be understood by their peers, but would be alien to others. Sometimes, it can also be a matter of mis-speak or misuse of a term that confuses me.
I mention this because it can be difficult enough to understand something without these types of issues arising. This does not mean that we should just give up trying to understand. These can be learning experiences in themselves, as well as teaching us something we may not have realized before. They are opportunities for us to grow.
This is often the case with Buddhism. The language may be different or full of terminology that we do not want to hear or have associated with explanations of our lives. Many people stop listening when they hear something that makes them feel uncomfortable rather than working through it to come to an understanding. However, these can be the most important experiences because they can teach us about things that we would never have considered.
We often like to hear things with which we agree, with that which leaves us comfortable or we are used to hearing, but it is actually the things that make us uncomfortable that teach us the most. This is because the things with which we agree are usually things that we knew or felt from before while that which makes us uncomfortable or uneasy is making us consider a different perspective or forcing us to look at things in a different light. We are being given an opportunity to learn and grow.
Are we satisfied to simply feel good and comfortable or are we willing to dare to learn and grow?
© September 19, 2015