On this web site we write articles about mental happiness and Tibetan Buddhism. It might come as a surprise that we tweet and comment on political issues and current events. It might seem that we have somehow missed the point or we are ‘jumping the shark’ by discussing political issues and current events.
The topics of these political issues and current events have recently included NZ Politics, #MarchForOurLives and US gun control, the war on drugs, and LGBTQ. It is necessary to engage in politics at a certain stage as politics effect entire demographics and nations. The political issues that we discuss are directly connected with mental happiness and Tibetan Buddhism in these ways:
- NZ Politics: We are incredibly happy that a Labour-led coalition government was formed in 2017 because they prioritised lifting children out of poverty, began an inquiry into mental health in NZ, started building more state housing, and other work. All of this was just in the first 100 days of government. We think that this benefits and brings happiness to the lives of people across NZ and we are incredibly grateful for the work of the Labour-led coalition government. We think that this is generating skies of merit for the people in government and we take delight in rejoicing in their positive actions.
- #MarchForOurLives & US gun control: Simply put, we like it when people are alive and not dead. Being alive also means that people live their lives, practice the Dharma, and work towards the happiness of themselves and others. The value of a precious human rebirth is in being able to use it to bring benefit to ourselves and others. Very little can be done when the person is riddled with bullet holes. The number of deaths in the US associated with guns is ridiculous and we look forward to seeing strong gun control laws implemented in the US. Simply put, nobody goes hunting with an automatic or semi-automatic weapon!!
- The war on drugs: Imprisoning people for possessing drugs or other minor drugs offences achieves little more than overpopulating courts and prisons in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. This simply makes lawyers and private prison owners incredibly wealthy. The people imprisoned have their lives ruined, tainted by a prison record and unable to travel. This contrasts with countries like Portugal, where drugs were decriminalized and more people are in treatment and there are fewer new cases of HIV. This also contrasts with multiple states in the US where cannabis has been fully legalised, including Alaska, California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and the District of Columbia. In these US states this has resulted in the collection of taxes in the order of tens of millions of dollars per state per year to fund schools, public health initiatives, police, and government. Drug use might conflict with the ideas of mindfulness and concentration but, as with alcohol and pharmaceutical drugs, adults need to make decisions for themselves and live their own lives. This can be helped with education and giving people opportunities and options for their lives. By contrast, locking people up in prison for extended periods of time and holding a prison record over their lives achieves nothing.
- LGBTQ Pride: Love is love, and we love that!! We would really like everybody to be happy, whether they are LGBTQ or hetero. Adults should have equal rights to get married and live their lives the same as any other person – it really is that simple. Treating people differently really achieves nothing, whether it is a matter of getting married or anything else. This true sense of equality for all people is the first step is the first step in the Buddhist practice of equalizing and exchanging self for others. In Australia and New Zealand people do not hold hands a great deal. We really like it when two people hold hands, because it shows their trust and love for each other, whether they are father and son, two brothers, or two lovers. It makes us feel all warm and happy to be alive to see such love in the world.
In other words, some of the issues that we talk about might seem leftfield, by they are all about mental happiness. We would super like everybody to be happy!!