The internet is ablaze with naysayers regarding the climate crisis protests. Some folks seem to think of those protesting in the Extinction Rebellion as easy to dismiss because they’re hypocrites in one way or aother.
Yes, we are all hypocrites in one way or another. Right now my wife and I are more car dependent than we used to be. When I walk into the grocery store, I find it hard not to purchase greens that are in some sort of plastic, some of which is not recyclable. The systems that holds our society in place make it hard to practice an alternative. Not everyone can just go off into the woods, cut themselves off from the grid, and live like an eco-hermit.
This is what it means to be bombu, foolish beings.
In many traditions that focus on Pureland practice, it’s important to know one’s foolish nature. One sees that, in one’s current situation, they contribute to their suffering and the suffering of others. Much of it is unavoidable, even when they try their best. One could say very truthfully that there is quite a bit of hypocrisy amongst those who try to follow the Buddha.
Not everyone can follow the precepts completely. The societal and environmental systems that we are under does not allow it.
However, we can try our best, which is better than giving up. We can do what we can with the options available to us. Little by little we can improve. And good can come from it!
Some faith helps.
So yes, many of the Extinction Rebellion protesters are ordinary people who likely drive cars and get plenty of food wrapped in plastic. That’s the system that we are dependent on. With some awareness of our situation, perhaps we can do something to change it.
Namo Amida Bu
Image from Pixabay