A Dharma Glimpse: One’s Caution is Another’s Suffering

This is a Dharma Glimpse that I originally presented on 3/15/20 as a participant in the Lay Ministry program of the Bright Dawn Center of Oneness Buddhism.

At the time I am sitting down to write this, we continue to hear of various restrictions or regulations being set in place with the goal in mind being that COVID-19 or the Coronavirus will slow down in it’s transmission. Various large public events such as the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Emerald City Comic Con, the NBA Season, NHL practices and meetings have been either canceled or postponed. A travel ban has been put in place to heavily restrict further infection from the European fronts of the virus. Numerous institutions of higher learning have been shut down or are moving to
online classes, students being instructed to either “go home” or to simply “not return to campus after spring break”.

Many are certainly going to benefit by not being exposed to the Coronavirus as a result of these restrictions. However, there are certainly those who are going to suffer as a result of them. Countless employees across different fields and industries are going to miss opportunities to work due to these restrictions, potentially making their financial situations difficult in the near future. Many students will likely be “out” of a significant amount of money if colleges refuse to refund their room and board upon
closing campus. This doesn’t begin to address the fact that many students don’t necessarily have a “home” other than their college dorms or apartments. Where are these folks supposed to go?

The saying “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure” comes to my mind here, although it is more accurately put “one’s caution is the suffering of another”. Let us bear the scenarios being created by this pandemic in mind as examples that while we may benefit from a course of action, that doesn’t necessarily mean another isn’t suffering as a result of it.

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