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Cam Marston on Keeping APR On Air

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On today’s Keepin’ It Real, Cam Marston tells about the Buddha’s three poisons and the three good things.

About 2500 years ago, the Buddha listed the three things that bring unhappiness. They’re referred to as The Poisons, and these things, he essentially said, will put you into a pit that’s very hard to get out of. My take on it is this: any harm caused between humans comes from these three things. What are they? They’re Anger, Greed, and Ignorance. I can say with confidence that any harm I’ve done to others has come from one or more of these emotions, feelings, or attitudes – I’m not exactly sure what they are. All the oldest religions and philosophers that I’m aware of say much the same thing – anger, greed, and ignorance brings bad stuff. That’s certainly part of the messages I get on Sundays.

Thankfully, the Buddha also provided an antidote. They are compassion, generosity and wisdom. Any goodness between humans comes from one or more of those three. The three poisons and the three good ones are written on my office white board so I can remind myself from time to time to do more of those on the right side of the white board and do less of those on the left side. It’s nice to boil down so many of life’s complexities into two simple groups of words, though actually living them is a completely different story.

It’s fascinating that these ideas were written 2500 years ago and remain highly relevant today. I sit in an airconditioned room, typing on a computer that’s capable of umpteen thousand calculations per millisecond or something like that, we’ve put a telescope in space a million miles from earth that’s trying to take a picture of the beginning of the universe, I can poke at my phone and a pizza shows up at my house, yet our modern society can’t shake the same problems Buddha was addressing 2500 years ago. In some respects, we’ve come such a long way as a species yet, in others, we haven’t moved the needle in 2500 years.

The APR fund drive has only been going on for two days now, though it may feel like 2500 years for us regular listeners. And the challenges facing APR are the same challenges we hear about a couple of times each year. Funding for the station comes through listener donations.

Last month I sent APR money to be used towards a matching grant during my morning and afternoon Keepin’ It Real broadcast. My challenge to you is this: If you enjoy my Keepin’ It Real commentaries, toss a little money towards the station. I did. The station needs your help to keep going.

And I think the Buddha would agree, your donation shows your compassion, is an act of generosity, and reflects your wisdom. It won’t guarantee you a spot in heaven or enlightenment or whatever, but it might help, and I know some of you that are listening, and frankly, you could use some help.

I’m Cam Marston, and I’m just trying to help APR keep going.

Cam Marston is the Keepin' It Real host for Alabama Public Radio.