Our difficulty in letting go of attachments prevents us fromacknowledging without judgment and simply accepting the way thingsare. Instead we deny what Buddha called the three primarycharacteristics of reality: suffering, impermanence, and theinterdependent unity of everybody and everything. We’ve alreadytalked about suffering.
Everything is impermanent and interdependent
Denial of impermanence was evident in our expectation that the valueof our homes and our investments could only grow, and in the failureof the so-called experts to predict what was coming. And In our longing to maintain the illusion of what seemed to be a permanentlyrising market, most of us probably continue to ride the market up anddown, despite its continuing to be part of a dramatically unpredictableand impermanent environment.Buddha’s third characteristic of reality that we tend to deny is our interdependency. This refers to the fact that everybody andeverything in existence is interconnected and interdependent, andthat nothing, no thing, no person, no self exists as a completelyseparate, independent, or autonomous entity.In these troubling economic times, it might be helpful to remember that no one individual or group of individuals, no one industry, no onepolitical party, and no one nation, is responsible for the problems wenow face. Nor can we solve them as individuals or as one nationalone. We are all parts of an connected web of reality that functionsas a unified interdependent whole. There is no better demonstrationof this than the wide-ranging impact of the economy on housing,banking, investments, and employment, and on local, national, andglobal levels. We are all in this together. We always were, and wewill always be.
Let’s cooperate, not compete, as a unified whole
Acknowledging the reality of our interdependence can aid us inunderstanding and compassionately cooperating with each other,rather than selfishly competing for what we fear are limited resources.