Several times over the past week, friends and acquaintances have wished or started to wish me a happy Easter, then felt it necessary to qualify it somehow: “if you celebrate it,” “I don’t know how you feel about it, but…” and so forth.
I find this touching, but at the same time a bit appalling. Touching because my friends want to share the good wishes of their holiday with me, and appalling, not because it calls my beliefs into question (although that was implicit in a couple of cases) but because it demonstrates how little people actually know about one of history’s great thinkers and his teachings. It also demonstrates the unfortunate lack of information about other beliefs in general for which Americans, in particular, are well-known. That, however, is probably best left for another time. For the moment, let’s stick to the Buddha, his teachings, and Jesus. Continue reading