When I was a school teacher I used to keep beakers of water up on a high shelf. The bottom of the beakers was covered up with paper so that you couldn’t see what was at the bottom of the beaker. When counseling a student that was distraught over injustice, I would bring down a couple of beakers and put them at their eye level. Then I would give them a long-handled teaspoon and ask them to stir the water in each beaker. One beaker would become muddied and the other remained clear. Then I would ask them, “Is it the spoon’s fault?” Then I would affirm the righteousness of their anger, but also suggest that growing up meant cleaning out mud from their water and learning how to let it settle quickly so that any mud that remained doesn’t make you suffer so much from things that aren’t fair and instead have the power to work to make things better. Not once did I ever have a student who didn’t benefit from this demonstration.

SGI Buddhist, Loves Irish and Latin American Literature, History buff, knows a great deal about Medicare

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