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In my continuing adventure to try to understand myself, I had an interesting moment yesterday. I was reading a story about a woman who was translating audio snippets from Dutch to English for an Australian company. She found out these came from a Dutch phone network and wondered how they ended up in Australia, and it turns out to probably involve foreign intelligence services tapping some of the Dutch phone networks. Now I don't think that's very fair or just, it's a gross violation of privacy, and I got quite angry about it.
When I calmed down this morning, I thought it through some and I came to an impasse. On one level I think it's a good thing to recognise these injustices, because it's not right. But from a Buddhist perspective, the fact that I got emotionally involved signals perhaps an unhealthy attachment... after all, this wasn't something that affected me personally. It's also something big, something I would be unlikely to be able to do anything about.
So why Anger, one of the Poisons, as a response to a general case of wrongdoing? And how to deal with it? I discussed it with my dad, and he said this was something I already had when I was five, that I could get absolutely furious about someone cheating. He suggested it might be an issue left over from a past life, who knows.
Funnily enough I don't have the same response when I watch for example, Opsporing Verzocht on television, which is a programme about unsolved crimes and getting the public to submit tips. I can watch a bank robbery and see the robbers getting away without getting terribly emotionally involved at all...
So have you ever come across finding yourself attached to an abstract principle like this? What did you do?