Copyright © 2012 by Harold Zo
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When you’re a Buddhist living in small town America, the easiest way to get along with your neighbors is usually to just lie politely and humbly low – you certainly never want to lie to anybody about your religious beliefs, but there’s no need to trumpet your Buddhism from the rooftops, either. Buddhism is in not an Evangelical religion like Christianity, Islam and many other Faiths around the world. In the whole 2,500 year history of the religion, not a single person has ever been converted to Buddhism by the sword or at gunpoint. We don’t preach, “win souls,” badger or cajole. We don’t share the “good news” of Buddhism with strangers unless they specifically ask us to do so, and even in that circumstance we open up only if we sense that the inquiry is sincere. As a rule, we mostly just quietly walk our Middle Way, work diligently toward enlightenment, try to relieve suffering wherever we encounter it, and if people are inspired by our example to enter the Noble Eightfold Path for themselves, that’s great. If not, that’s also great. Buddhists are respecters of human freedom.