Country As Benefactor

Census day was Sunday 27th March. Now, all over Britain, people are scurrying to fill in their Census form. This can be done by filling out the multiple page paper form or by completing an on-line form. It is ones civic duty to do this. There is a 1000 pound fine if you don’t.

Where do you normally live?
and Who usually lives at this address? Good questions which I tried to answer honestly, using the on-line option. And then before I knew it I’d clicked a button and the form had been submitted. Gone! In my effort to be honest I’d edited myself out of the 2011 Census all together. In the click of a mouse, I was not!

There must be many people, like me, who are not included in the 2011 Census. Homeless people. Traveling people. People who live in non official places. Tree houses perhaps. Not bad company. All the same I’m sad to be not. Not part of this huge data gathering exercise, not officially included as being anywhere on the night of the 27th March.

In Buddhism we regard our country as being one of the four benefactors which allow the peaceful conditions to practice ones religion. In Britain we are fortunate to be free to be Buddhist. The other three benefactors are, ones parents, the Buddha and all beings*. During formal meals there is a verse we recite where gratitude is offered to the four benefactors.

*Correct me if I’m wrong, I’ve not got a scripture book beside me.

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