The White Tiger

July 28, 2014 § Leave a comment

What’s that you say, Mr. Jiabao? Do I hear you call me a cold-blooded monster?

There is a story I think I heard at a train station, sir, or maybe I read it on the torn page that had been used to wrap an ear of roasted corn I bought at the market—I can’t remember. It was a story of the Buddha. One day a cunning Brahmin, trying to trick the Buddha, asked him, “Master, do you consider yourself a man or a god?”

The Buddha smiled and said, “Neither. I am just one who has woken up while the rest of you are still sleeping.”

I’ll give you the same answer to your question, Mr. Jiabao. You ask, “Are you a man or a demon?” Neither, I say. I have woken up, and the rest of you are still sleeping, and that is the only difference between us.

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