A recent video suggested that Buddhists are uncaring, that they are taught to abhor family values, which are forms of ‘attachment’. The video ended with the statement that the main reason for such a sorry state of affairs in Asian values, is simply that they have not heard the truth – and provides a way to donate money to the Christian cause.
The video caused some consternation amongst Buddhists who felt (rightly) misrepresented. Perhaps that is why is was taken down and no longer available….
Yet the summary and sweepeing statements made are nothing unnusual, nor of an extreme that you won’t find Buddhists, or other ‘Asian’ based traditions claiming about ‘Western’ religions.
But to answer the question – does ‘non-attachment’ mean you will have no love for anyone, especially your family?
How does the following summary of what ‘family’ means measure up?
You are at your most real in a family – at your most angry, at your most loving, at your most suffocated, at your most motivated. You can’t be fully selfish in a family. You want to be, often, but in the end it drags you back to your need for and your commitment to the company of others. In the family there are few hidden spaces, few facets of character, good or bad, that lie undiscovered, few delusions and even fewer fantasies. There are many glimpses of the best and the worst of the human being.
Seems pretty universal really. The author continues:
In the end, most important of all, you have to forgive the trespasses in order that yours too can be forgiven. And just occasionally, you spy the essential strength that the family represents, and realise it is a marvel of human achievement and for all its shortcomings, anxieties and tensions, greatly to be cherished.
These lines were written by Tony Blair in his memoir ‘My Journey’. A convert to Catholicism, he actually spends much of his time and energy on faith, studying other religions, and interfaith dialogue. His summary of what family means to a human being, cuts across religious divides.
Religion is a tool for your own progress, not a tool to compare and compete between beliefs.