Noon Blessing, Day 37 – May all beings be free from poverty

(persimmons drying in the sun)

May all beings be free from poverty.

Around eighty years ago, in a letter to Kyong Bong Sunim, the great Seon master Han Am Sunim wrote, “My only wish is that the crops always be plentiful, and to spend the months and years peacefully.” When I first read that, I just kind of passed it by, “That’s nice.” But later, it began to strike home.

If the crops are good, then everyone will likely have enough to eat. Farmers will have a bit of cash, and merchants will be buying and selling. Factories and farms will be hiring, and it won’t be too hard to at least get enough to eat. If people have enough to eat, they won’t be pushed into desperation. They won’t go down dark paths, driven by hunger and poverty. Even ordinary, dark-minded people will tend to be moderate in their behavior, because they mostly have enough to live on.

For most of us, I doubt (thankfully!) we can truly imagine the depths that true poverty and desperation push people towards. So although there are unpleasant things in the world, evil even, having enough for our basic needs nonetheless moderates those things to a huge degree. So just having plentiful harvests is a huge deal.

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