When I first encountered the Jodo Shinshu teaching, I remember being startled to hear the minister giving a Dharma talk say, “In a house full of good people, the fighting never ends.” My idea of a “good person” was someone who knows what is right and always does the right thing. I had been studying Buddhism in the hope of becoming that sort of good person, so I was taken aback by the minister’s words.
I figured that if a house was full of good people, everyone would think and act correctly and they would all live together in harmony. However, recalling the various houses I had lived in up to that point, it occurred to me that differing perspectives on what was “correct” had given rise to many fights over the years. Between parents and children, spouses, and roommates there are a variety of different ideas about what is correct with regard to childrearing, politics, driving, cooking, clothing, and even hairstyles. When people living together think of themselves as good people who have the right ideas and know the correct way of doing things, conflicts easily arise and the fighting never ends.Continue reading “In a House Full of Good People, the Fighting Never Ends”