Five Precepts Blues; #2.10 – every wrongdoing is a variation of theft

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Leon Redbone • Somebody Stole My Gal

I really enjoyed watching the Kite Runner, up until the point where the guy turns into a superhero (maybe it came across more realistically in the book?), but one scene that has stuck with me is when the boy’s father talks to him about stealing;

“There is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft….When you kill a man, you steal a life. You steal his wife’s right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness.”

I feel the word ‘sin’ has too much baggage attached to describe a “Buddhist” thought accurately (whatever that means…), but if you were to sub the word ‘wrongdoing’ the teaching still comes through with the same impact.

Considering Buddhism had a significant presence in Afghanistan about 2000 years ago, I wonder how much of the Buddha’s Dharma survived over the years and whether this quote originated from  it. That said, truth is truth, whatever its source, so it doesn’t really matter in the end.

One response »

  1. The wisdom in that passage perhaps comes from simply paying close attention to how life works. The Buddha did just that, of course, and so have countless other sages, elders and wise men.

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