The Flub-A-Dub Award

I'm not sure it would be right to Flub a day. September 11,2001. It was September 11, 2000, when I passed out on the parking lot of Swedough's and, over the next 19 days, waged my own personal war with an internal terror. I survived, and so will we. But I'm getting not to like September Ii.

I'd Flub the terrorists but I'm not exactly sure who they all are, where they are, or what it is they want. I'm not sure we're not all terrorists. When President Bush declares war on evil, I'm afraid we're all under attack. It comes up on the front page every day: A suicide bomber kills innocent victims at the marketplace, a disgruntled worker kills the boss, a racially motivated murder, a drug dealing fool shoots a child on the street. But that's only the beginning of our evil: We let people starve in a land of plenty, deny adequate health care to millions, kill one another because of color or sexual preference or religious belief. We let children die because we don't want to give help without conditions, cheat people out of their labor, poison one another for profit. All of these things terrorize people and make them vulnerable. It all becomes a sorrowful mess. We should all be Flubbed. But that surely wouldn't be right?

And then it happens. Just about when I'm ready to Flub the whole unraveling world, I see someone trying to save the World Trade Center with a fire extinguisher and a kind word, or I read about someone giving a kidney to a total stranger. People read books to the blind, adopt unwanted children, shovel snow for an elderly neighbor, take food to a shut-in.

In the darkest hour and when evil is the thickest, goodness seems to always be able to slice its way through. In the Columbine High School shooting, a teacher by the name of Dave Sanders threw himself in front of some of his students in a selfless act of courage to save them. On September 11th, numerous stories surfaced where this same thing happened. Firefighters give their lives to save others, ordinary citizens carry the disabled to safety, health-care workers rush into a flaming building to help. On Flight 93, it appears some of the passengers sacrificed their lives by attempting to overcome the highjackers, seemingly ending an attempt to crash the plane into the White House. In the Buddhist tradition, these people would deserve to be called Bodhisattvas, those who have totally and uncompromisingly dedicated their lives to saving others. You can only imagine how deep the goodness, how strong the courage, how total the loving kindness.

The potential to be a Bodhisattva resides in all of us. Unfortunately, so does the potential for evil. It's hard to Flub evil, without again Flubbing us all.

Maybe this month is really not a good time for a Flub. Maybe it's a good time to extend a wish for all people to be happy, well, and free from suffering, fear, and vulnerability, and leave it go at that.

Uploaded to The Zephyr Online September 25, 2001

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