Let's interpret "lust" as desire, whether for sex, power, wealth, and/or fame, and we suddenly include all members of Congress, the White House and its various agencies, Wall Street, most CEO's, quite a few movie stars, most governors and mayors, and a considerable part of the general population.
Wow! Buddha has explained in a few succinct words what ails our country in particular and the world in general. If the ordinary citizen allows lust to penetrate his/her mind, nothing of consequence for the nation will result. But when politicians reach a decision based on personal "lust" that affects millions, we all suffer. The recent fracas on the debt ceiling illustrates perfectly the teachings of the Eastern Sage.
Buddha also adds:" Let the wise man guard his mind, incomprehensible, subtle, and capricious though it is. Blessed is the guarded mind!"
It is indeed a full-time job to make sure that our mind doesn't fall prey to unwanted emotions, unwanted when they directly impinge on decisions that should be totally unbiased. The bridge to nowhere, the .50 caliber gun, the war in Iraq, the $500 toilet, the absurdly complex tax laws, the lack of term limits, etc.. are a few examples of politicians voting with their personal desires and not for rational motives.
Now that President Obama's approval rating is starting to look like his predecessor's, and Congress' image is navigating the sewers of public opinion, one can only ask why we don't have a better government. Did we simply vote (those who bothered to do so) for candidates based on their political campaign spending? Or is the reality much worse and much more frightening?
History has shown that in moments of great crisis, a strong leader emerged to save the day; F.D.R during the Great Depression, Churchill in World War II, De Gaulle saving France from political debacle after the war, Washington of course defeating the Brits, Gandhi in India and Nelson Mandela in South Africa, the list is endless. So where is the great leader that America urgently needs? Some of us thought that Obama was that man, ready to transform our country into a wise and prosperous world power. Alas! No such luck.
A great crisis is upon us and we don't have the kind of government that can solve the problem. Our elected leaders bicker like children on the playground and no visionary leader has emerged (yet) to take over the ship and straighten out its course.
Maybe we should email our elected representatives the teachings of Buddha, every day, every hour, until they start applying his wisdom.