January 2013


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‘I Will Not Kill Any Living Thing’

Thaw Reh

There is a story told of a Buddhist monk along the Thai-Burma border who refused medical treatment for a curable disease. Because he would not agree to treatment, he died. While he was living, the doctor who was caring for him asked him why he refused treatment.

The monk answered, “If I take the medicine, the germs inside me that are causing my illness will die. As a monk, I made a vow that I will not kill any living thing. I choose to die and let them live.”

Burma has different types of people. There are those who refuse medical treatment out of concern for those living beings that cause the disease. Then there are those who will not think twice about killing a human being. We must decide with whom we will stand.

* Thaw Reh is a refugee from Burma living in a camp in Thailand.