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The Unseen Side of the Escalator Problem

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  • NamoAmituofo
    TheDailyEnlightenment.comWeekly 27.07.07 Get this newsletter | TDE-Weekly Archive Click here if you do not see pictures
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 26, 2007
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      TheDailyEnlightenment.comWeekly 27.07.07

      Get this newsletter | TDE-Weekly Archive
      Click here if you do not see pictures
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      Realisation: The Unseen Side of the Escalator Problem

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      All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men to do nothing. - Edmund Burke

      At the subway, those standing on the right side of the escalator should either move to clear the way, or stand on the left to make way for hurrying commuters. Such is the rule advocated locally. However, many are either unmindful of its existence, or choose not to follow it, thus possibly inconveniencing others. Often, the right is jammed, as a result of one person standing still. But is it really just this person's fault? The person jammed by him is also part of the jam, as he in turn jams others behind him. This "queue" goes on and on... but only when there is quiet surrender to the mild desperation of the situation. This might seem like a small matter, but let us see this an analogy for all forms of needless "self-imposed" suffering we give in to.

      This "queue" exists because the person behind the first "jammer" does not tell him to move. This second person might however internally blame him for blocking, though he is in the best position to do something about it - to remind him to follow the rule. In this sense, the second is blameworthy too. Likewise, the third person could remind the second person to remind the first person to follow the rule... and so on. Everyone in the jam is to blame - those who follow the rules and those who don't. It's all too easy to point fingers at the first jammer, when we might be jammers too. Some rules are valuable - which is why we follow them. And when they are not followed, those who value them should remind the rule-breakers of their value.

      Is there little worth in clearing the jam, since the escalator takes less than a minute to reach its destination? But how much time is wasted if jams recur daily? It is senseless to continually harbour resentment if one never does anything to resolve it. The world is a massively compounded Samsara (realm of suffering) because there are not enough folks who do the right thing to make it a universal Pure Land. If we all do the right thing and encourage one another to do so, Samsara would become paradise in a flash. Though paradise is realised by personal purification of the mind, true paradise is for everyone. Those who value it do what they can to help others realise it too. Are you doing enough to make the world a better place? -Shen Shi'an

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