I have a friend from Thailand who has been going through a very tough time. He began his life in poverty, his parents, one a manual labourer, the other, a person not to be trusted or relied on. So he's never had it easy. But now in his mid twenties he's had some really personally devastating news and will need all his emotional strength and whatever money he has saved to get back on his feet.
I love Thailand and its people. I especially love their Buddhist ways of seeing the world. So peaceful and calm - I was never looking to adopt it for myself, but having lived in Indonesia, the most populace Muslim country on the planet and of course being born and raised in Christian countries, it was a religion that I'd come to admire.
Then my friend told me he was going to go and be a monk for a month and he was assured this would re-right his Karmic balance - and all it would cost him was about a year's pay. So I held my tongue because these are his beliefs and his religion. And sure enough, now some months later, when he's undergoing medical treatment and desperately short of money, I can't help but wonder how the consciences of those lovely peaceful calm monks spending all his money are going? I guess my views on religion will never change - man made for many reasons and something to be wary of.