This Dharma Glimpse was initially presented on 12/6/2020 as part of my participation in the Lay Ministry Program of the Bright Dawn Center of Oneness Buddhism.
There is a common saying “never say never”. It’s application varies situation by situation but basically it’s another way of saying “nothing is impossible”. This week, I received a lite reminder of how true that is.
For the past few years, I’ve primarily worked in transportation as a school bus driver, with some supplemental income from retail here and there. However, This week marked the “official” beginning of my classes in my Master of Social Work program. I am currently studying to work in a white collar profession, a sharp turn from my current footing in transportation. Yet, I’ve never been one to hold labor-intensive types of employment, shopping cart hauling/attending or retail merchandising being the most strenuous type of work I’ve ever occupied. If one were to tell me prior to the pandemic that I would be painting a portion of a school district building as part of my job, I would have responded “that would never happen”. Yet, that is exactly what I was doing this past week, as hourly regular transportation staff are currently working every other week, performing tasks for our operations department while the schools are closed for in-person instruction.
Perhaps we can all call to mind a time when events have come to fruition which we would have previously dismissed as impossible. The fact is, we often place our certainty behind ideas which are more fragile than we realize. What we assume will “always be “ or “never will” could one day come crashing down, either in our minds or in front of our faces. In the blink of an eye, new causes and conditions could arise which change anything from a minor event in our day to the very way we view life itself. Each moment is a new moment, each life a new life. As we learn from the teaching of impermanence, nothing truly lasts forever.
Working on the paint crew was far from fun. In fact, this is the hardest I’ve physically worked in the past few years. However, this episode served as a reminder for me to “expect the unexpected”. Looking forward from this, I will try to remember the saying “never say never”, or at least try to use “never” more sparingly