Internet notebook about my work: deep listening to facilitate positive change


Friday 6 June 2008

Asking questions

Asking questions is an imperative part of any learning process. Sometimes it gets you into trouble, when you do not ask the right questions. Like when Sharon Stone – as I saw in a magazine – asked herself in public the questions: “was the way the Chinese treat the Tibetans nice? Was the recent earth quake in Sechuan province maybe the workings of the law of karma?” It caused her to loose advertising contracts in China and a ban on her movies. An over-reaction? Yes. The questions were not that bad, but at least the last one was a wrong question. Personally I would answer both questions with no. Karma is about the consequences of one’s actions. It is different from the laws of nature. The tectonic structure in the area is to blame for the earthquake. Not the Chinese. But that does not mean that there is some cause and effect at work here. Corruption and lack of enforcement of building regulations contributed to the collapse of schools and the deaths of so many children. Indiscriminate logging caused eroded slopes: an easy prey for massive land slides, natural dams in rivers and the potential evacuation of almost a million people down stream. Nobody will know how much the wrong decisions, illegal activities and bad performance of those in power may have contributed to the current hardships of the people in Sechuan. Those guilty most probably are not among the victims. Maybe some of them will learn that some karma is at work here…! Maybe Sharon Stone has learned now about karma, about conditions such as laws of nature and about asking the right questions.

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