Ancient Wisdom Applies to Today and Tomorrow

Adin_Strauss_DSC1624During May 1 to 8 Social Security is joining forces with faith-based and community groups across the country to increase awareness about their programs and services. The theme for this Faith Week of Action is “Shining a Light on Your Lifelong Protections.”

One of the common misconceptions about Buddhism is that it is detached from the affairs of daily living.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The Buddhist tradition focuses on cultivating the wisdom to differentiate between short-term pleasure and long-term well-being, and the courage to make the best choices.

Among the ancient Buddhist teachings, we find detailed, practical advice on how to handle our money. One sutra, or teaching, advises us to “set aside one fourth of our earnings for times of need.”

Social Security is a solid partner that helps us to prepare for times of need — retirement, disability or the unexpected death of a family’s breadwinner. 

As a Buddhist, I believe that all of our lives are profoundly interwoven. As one of the great modern Buddhist thinkers, Daisaku Ikeda said, “Each form of life supports all others; together, they weave the grand web of life. Thus, there really is no happiness for oneself alone; no suffering that afflicts only others.”

I appreciate that Social Security provides this kind of protection for my friends, neighbors, and all my fellow Americans. I can relate to those who resent the deduction taken from their paycheck every payday.  However, I also know these contributions provide us with an essential foundation for the future.

We stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. We must ensure their well-being and honor their much-needed contributions to our world.  Social security helps us to do just that. Register for Social Security’s Faith Week of Action online and learn how you can help spread the message about securing today and tomorrow.

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94 thoughts on “Ancient Wisdom Applies to Today and Tomorrow

  1. I find it very interesting that people are prevented from talking/writing/preaching about Jesus Christ and the Christian faith, but we can be preached to about Buddism from a government official. This is clearly a double standard and not appreciated.

      • Absolutely agree! I was a little taken back as a Christian to see this in my email this morning. But we know that the world has their faces set against Christ, that is not going to get better and will only get worse.

    • Could be because, First, Buddhism is inclusive and does not impose, and the second reason could be that Buddhism does not preach about God unlike Christianity, which talks about a human being as God. I also don’t believe this article was written by anybody due to their authority in a government position. I also want to point out that contrary to what you have implied, almost all government officials/politicians in our country have used religion, especially Christianity in one way or another to their own benefit.

      • Absolutely true. The double standard often comes from those of deep faith in a God, rather than in common principles.

    • Oh stop, everyday in every way it’s about a Christian GODin this country from sports athletics thanking him, to politicians saying “God bless America”. Buddism is not a religion, it’s a way of life. I am not one but I am open to gaining knowledge about all religions even when it goes against my values and beliefs. . Being closed minded because it threatens you beliefs keeps you ignorant to life. Please become a critical independent thinker and read, study and learn from all sources. It’s how you grow as a person and yes , a Christian.

    • I am not a Buddhist.
      This article is not written by a government official. I also do not see it as being preached to and no one is ever stopped from stating their spiritual beliefs. Just listen to our congressmen and and our presidentail candidates.
      Why do some people think that allowing other people their rights somehow threatens their own?

      • This site is sponsored by the SS Administration and is monitored by SS employees to give program information. It is not appropriate to be discussing any religion on this site.

        • Several posters brought up Christianity, Christ, and god. Just sayin’. However, to clarify for those who are all outraged by this government site having the audacity to even mention the name of any religion or belief besides their precious Christianity, let me clarify, because you are all WRONG about what they can and cannot pistol on this site.

          The Constitution prohibits the “state” (meaning the government) from “making [no] law concerning the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Read it if you doubt me; you’ll find it in the First Amendment. Nothing in this article attempts in any way to establish any religion on American citizens as law, nor does it require anyone to do anything. It does not stop anyone, including so-called “christians,” from the free exercise of their religion, either. If you insist on claiming your “Constitutional rights” are being violated all the time, it might be helpful for you to first learn what the Constitution actually says – try reading it sometime. Its really a very short document. And by the way, your nastiness is anything but Christlike, something I’ve noticed on every comment site I’ve ever seen when these self-proclaimed “christians” get all worked up.

    • Agreed. Still, judgement is not approaching us for our straying from God’s Truth, it is upon us now.

    • we all believe and experience in our live a upper power, I name him GOD. All religion believe in LAWS OF NATURE, which narrate human beings welfare, blessings and happiness. Like care for weak, sick, old needing help . I read Dr.Wayne, a God gifted & guided writter.Dr.Wayne admits; ” It is not me myself rather I am so guided.I simply remain connected to my creator ie God”.What I understand and rightly too,when we are connected to creator,we become part of it,as a drop of rain when fall in sea become a sea,so we do.Unluckly religious leaders have raised walls,barriers.We all are children of Adam and Hawan and so are interneted and have right to share God blessing among our selves. ssi system is a one organized organ to help needy persons.I am myself over 80 and social security meet partly my needs.Thanks and hat off for those who devised and are maintaining this system.Talking good and welfare of human beings is a way,you may call it religion.Yes all religions talk for the welfare of humanity except some sick minds ,which we must ignore.STAY HAPPY,TALK GOOD,WORK FOR WELFARE OF HUMANITY AND FOLLOW LAW OF NATURE,which are law of all religions.JOHN COVY,a great writer has talked a lot of LAWW OF NATURE.What is religion,it is a way of life.Don’nt use word religion,say a way of life.
      There is a creator/super- power / God/Ram/Allah/Love,same thing.Love,Love and Love and stay happy.

      • You state we all believe & experience in our live’s a higher power and you name him “GOD”. As far as my knowledge goes, God, King, President, Queen, etc, these are all titles. There have been many in the past & ancient times who were referred to as gods. Does this GOD, the higher power you are referring to actually have a name?

    • Buddism is not a religion. In other words, the Buddha does not want you to believe, he wants you to seek out the truth–the very essence of philosophical enquiry. So perhaps you should understand the difference between Blind Faith and truth.

    • Absolutely agree. It must be a slow news day. This post was totally inappropriate on every level. Even if the Constitution allowed for the promotion of religion, this blog is not the place for it. Again it shows the double standard of this administration, or more properly put no standards at all.

      • It does allow for this post. You need to READ the Constitution, specifically the First Amendment. This article does not violate any part of the Constitution in any way. See my earlier post for the exact quote from the Constitution.

    • Did anyone read the opening paragraph that states that the SS Administration is partnering with faith based groups?? This opinion was solicited and is in no way bashing anyone for not being a believer or follower. If you truly want separation of state and religion, lobby to take religion off of our currency.
      Seek peace.

    • Thank you very much Wayne, very well put. I take this article as a personal insult to all Christians. How dare the Social Security office speak of religion and denounce the use of the freedom to speak about GOD in association with government . GOD bless America.

    • He is not preaching!! For Buddhist believe in God is optional, so it is possible to be a
      good Buddhist Catholic, I know this because I am one.

  2. I personally don’t have a problem that you cite your personal beliefs. But how is it that the U.S. government can promote Buddhism? Would you have dared to print this article if instead you were citing the Bible? I doubt it. Where is the Freedom From Religion society now? What hypocrites. What double standards.

    • What you have failed to read is the beginning: ” During May 1 to 8 Social Security is joining forces with faith-based and community groups across the country to increase awareness about their programs and services”, I don’t think they are necessarily just going to be showing Buddhism but maybe all or some beliefs that some of us don’t know that much about and might like to get a different perspective. I, as a Christian, like finding out what others believe and how it affects their life and possibly mine.

    • Clearly there are very few people on this comment board who actually know how to read, as evidenced by your mischaracterization of yjis article. And obviously none save 3 posters (including myself) have ever even read the actual language of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States – much less that document itself. Anyone who is ignorant of the Constitution, in my opinion, has a nerve to call themselves “Americans.” You people are pathetic.

  3. I agree with Wayne. I do not need hear about Buddism. If I am interested I can search out the information without your assistance, Mr. Strauss. The ancient wisdom I believe is the truth is from God’s Word. Known to everyone as the Bible.

  4. When I saw “Ancient Wisdom” is he talking about God’s Word? And from SSA? Again disappointed by our governments antics. Thanks Wayne and Judith!.

  5. What closed minded people we can be. The writer is not “preaching” Buddhism only drawing an analogy.

  6. I find it interesting and more than a little discouraging that so many commenters are attacking the messenger instead of reacting to the message, which is one of the support and benefits we get from Social Security. As one who has benefitted from Social Security Disability Insurance in the past, and who receives Social Security Retirement Benefits currently, I can tell you that Adin Strauss’ message is 100% accurate, and that there is NOTHING in his message which attacks Christians or any other religion! ALL the great religions promote assisting the well-being of those who have fallen on hard times, and that is exactly what Social Security is designed to do. Adin Strauss simply chose to use the teachings of his own religion, with which he is familiar, to make this point about Social Security. Get a life, people!

  7. We are not allowed to cite scripture, pray or even invite others to join a Christian event on NC State campuses but a government official writing under the social security heading wants to expound on Buddhism?

  8. Well, I don’t think so. Our faith informs our actions. I think National day of prayer is coming up. There is references to religion by candidates. It does no harm to know more about a particular faith, and I appreciate the history behind the religion. It is an integral part of being human. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech….open your hearts & minds, People!

  9. Wayne and Andy should get their facts straight. Mr. Strauss isn’t a government official and the tenets of Buddhism are shared and practiced worldwide…much like those of Christianity. If you two would set aside your one-world, one-God opinions, you might widen your world view.

  10. And how about the fact that Potus wants to change the way savings are to be controlled by his government that now has this nation in an unsustainable level. Plus he wants to rename SS to be called Government Assistance, how so when it is my money and then only given a pitence for imterest. No way let him drag our useless Congress into doing this, get the word out , plus our country was founded on christianity values.

      • Yes, and the government would have disciplined or fired me if I had posted the same thing from a Christian perspective. It is the hypocrisy that is found objectionable not the messenger.

  11. People, be nice. Let’s hear from all philosophies .. and religions — to enrich our understanding of the life that we all share. Rather than silence the Buddhist, let’s work to learn something from everyone and not give up teaching each other in a spirit of community. Who’s the bad guy?–not those giving the Buddhist a forum but those denying others an equal (but not dominant) voice.

  12. Since the central “No [Wo]Man Is An Island” argument underlying the rationale of this piece can be so readily made without recourse to parallels or parables explicitly identified with this or that belief system or similar sorts of parochiality or accidents of personal viewpoint, the author might have done better to advance the argument that the entire society is better off by virtue of Social Security by direct reference to facts, figures, and outcomes supporting his contention.
    A gesture to the non-partisan, non-sectarian philosophical principle of “The Golden Rule” would have been a more tolerable level of “opining”… were some such broad brush contextualizing felt by the author to have been called for.
    While I definitely support the fact and rationale of our Social Security system, given that it is under such present attack, it’s a bit too risky to proselytize for it by recourse to potentially problematic personal idiosyncrasy, penchant, and prejudiced beliefs (however pleasantly or loftily couched).
    I grant that many – both subscribers to it and not – consider Buddhism a philosophy and, thereby, not strictly a religion, my impression has been that most in the community of philosophers would class it as a religion… just, perhaps, a non- or less-theist belief system.
    Let’s keep sociopolitical and economic policy discussions as non-sectarian as we can possibly manage.
    I think the writer of this piece probably thought he was doing that. If so, I agree with many others here that this was his unfortunate lapse.

  13. I believe that Adin Strauss is sending a Word of his beliefs, Buddhism w/o a care about that we are in America and most Americans look up to the Trinity..
    God, the Holy Spirit; God the Son and God as God. I believe that Mr. Strauss will not be Heavenly Bound as His God is a mere “Idol”…

  14. The article speaks to people of all faiths, does it not?
    As Christians we can check out opportunities to participate with our faith groups during the days below.

    Read section in article:
    “During May 1 to 8 Social Security is joining forces with faith-based and community groups across the country to increase awareness about their programs and services. The theme for this Faith Week of Action is “Shining a Light on Your Lifelong Protections.”

    Social Security values all people, and the richness of their life experiences. We stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. We must ensure their well-being and honor their much-needed contributions to our world. Social security helps us to do just that. Register for Social Security’s Faith Week of Action online and learn how you can help spread the message about securing today and tomorrow.

  15. Why do I here our liberal government hounding about seperation of church and state (by the way there is no such terminology in my constitution) while we have this gonvernment (my) employee preaching budism in a government communication! Shame on you. Practice what our liberal government preaches and keep your religion to yourself!

  16. Thank you Aidin for that informative and interesting article. Congratulations on becoming the new Men’s division leader for our great lay organizatio, SGI.

  17. I found it very interesting. I’m not Buddhist but open minded and appreciate learning good stuff that is benefits humans from any authentic religion like a Buddhism. I also thank you Adin for clarification of misconceptions because I was one of those who thought wrong about that.

  18. If the writer of the article had noted that many other religions, especially the Christian religion provide guidance for making wise choices I would not be a disturbed, but the article seemed to infer the advantages of Buddhism over other belief sets without recognizing their contributions. Christianity from its incept has taught and exercised the taking care of others, especially the widowed, crippled, and less fortunate. And Christianity has been doing that since before the creation of the SSA.

  19. If readers actually click on the link as the article encourages, you will see Social Security is hosting a weeklong campaign to educate people on the importance of planning and saving for your future financial well being if you become disabled or retire. It is an attempt to reach people of ALL faiths. There is no governmental intention to discriminate or create bias among differing faiths. As the article points out and as I see daily in the work I do, Social Security retirement benefits replace only 40 percent of workers’ earnings. Many folks don’t have a savings set aside for emergencies let alone years of retirement. This campaign is intended to educate everyone about social security not religion. Signing up for a my Security account is a great way to prevent social security identity fraud and can provide individuals with knowledge that could change their lives for the better and set them on a sound financial course. It’s too bad when people jump to conclusion without even reading what the campaign and article is all about. I applaud Social Security for their efforts. I think most people who identify with a particular faith listen to their elders/clergy/pastors,etc… so what a great way to encourage the faith based communities to help spread the word!

  20. Well, let’s see…from the inception of “Christianity” and especially during the Witch Trials here in the United States and throughout Europe, approximately 50 million women alone were killed in order to promote the now dominate religious system here in the US. It is not surprising that seed of intolerance for the views of others still exists.

    The only killing in the name of Buddha has come from non-Buddis, (i.e.: Muslims, Christians, etc.), seeking to destroy peace in order to perpetuate power in the name of religion.

    One should not worry one’s self regarding the separation of “church” and state, they are and always will be intimately connected. The evidence being the rapid destruction of our country and youth. The quality of any religion should be it’s fruit. After all, Christ; who by the way begged his followers not to worship him when he said, “It is not me, but the Father who sent me.”
    is a title and the name of the man “christians” worship is never used. Therefore, who are the real idol worshipers?

    I read these postings and no longer wonder at the condition of our world. An 80 year old person posts their “opinion” and not respected. The word “God” is used as an excuse to spew self-serving, uninformed dogma by politically and socially powerless individuals. For, should “Christianity” live by the tenants of Christ when he said, “What I do, ye can also do.”…they would realize their God’s power is within and not worry about the peaceful beliefs of others.

    • Thank you. This article neither makes no law “establishing” ANY religion, nor does it in any way prevent any of you good “christian” haters from practicing your religion. Learn the Constitution before you attempt to exercise your “rights” thereunder. Immigrants seeking to become citizens know FAR more about our Constitution than most of you. Less bible, more reality maybe???

  21. It is not God that cannot be mentioned, it is Jesus!
    I hope Social Security balances this post with posts from all major religions

    • Good point Susy. I am not ignorant, closed mind nor scared to learn of other belief systems.I am also not going to sit by and not point out the obvious disparity. The post is sponsored by an agency within a government that seeks to separate itself from religion. No one missed the part that says SSA is partnering with faith-based and community groups. What I am saying is SSA should give Chistians equal time.

      I will stand down once I see the SSA promote articles by other faith based entities.

  22. Wow, I normally delete theses email but was glad I kept on reading.
    So my friends, does “religion” unite us humans or divide us. What exactly is the purpose of being religious if it only deepens our hatred and vitriol. I’m not a scholar, just asking.

  23. I support Social Security for use as it was first intended. However- I would like the government to stop “borrowing money” from Social Security for other project funding. Imagine how solvent the Social Security Program would be if all the previous “borrowing” was paid back.

    • EXACTYLY !!
      WHAT ON EARTH DOES ANY OF THIS NONESENSE DEBATE ON RELIGION HAVE TO DO WITH THE MONEY THAT COMES DIRECTLY FORM WHAT I EARNED AND IS INVESTED, TO HAVE RETURNED TO ME BY THE SS SYSTEM !!!!!!!!!!
      THIS FORM OF SAVING FOR THE FUTURE IS COMMON SENSE. AND A MUST HAVE IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO MAKE ENDS MEET AND STILL HAVE SOMETHING TO CONTRIBUTE TO A PERSONAL SAVINGS, NOT EVERYONE HAS A JOB THAT HAS ANY BENEFITS AT ALL.

    • Thanks for your comment Jane. Social Security is a pay-as-you-go system. Social Security taxes collected from today’s workers pay the benefits of today’s retirees. Any funds in excess of what is needed to pay today’s benefits are invested in special issue, U.S. Government, interest-bearing securities. This investment – the purchase of U.S. Government securities – is what constitutes the “borrowing” that people are sometimes concerned about. Any funds that have been “borrowed” from the Social Security Trust Funds have always been paid back in full, plus interest. Please check out our Trust Fund Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

  24. The word “Buddhist” took me by surprise when reading the article too, but it’s amazing how this article turned into a discussion about religion in the comment section. Maybe the writer was trying to gain the audience’s attention by citing a principle of another religion other than Christianity. The message that was conveyed within the article was a positive one. I hope your Christian faith did not stop you from receiving the benefits of the article.

  25. One thing I like about all the comments on this post is that it has created dialogue. As a Christian, I appreciate the diversity and wisdom from all of God’s creation. Jesus whether you believe him to be the son of God or a Prophet of God, was always inclusive. He said the greatest commandment is that you have love for your neighbor. He did not say have love for those of people of your group. Which brings to my mind one instance in the bible where the apostles complained that they were out preaching and noticed people performing miracles who were not part of their group. When asked what they should do about that, Jesus simply replied, “If they are not against you then they are for you.”

    So lets respect one another in love and if what someone is saying is good, see it as love because love does not have a religious label. The greatest gift that God has given us is the gift of diversity and the ability to learn from it all.

  26. Social Security is doing a great job! And to keep it strong we all have to do our part as well!

  27. PEOPLE, PLEASE!!! CAN’T WE ALL JUST RESPECT OUR RELIGIOUS (AND OTHER) DIFFERENCES? IF WE ALL DID, THEN THE WORLD WILL TRULY BE A PEACEFUL, SAFE WORLD FOR ALL TIMES!!!

  28. What’s very funny and disturbing is, if the same article were published but all the Buddhist references were changed to Christian references, the same people who are now posting against it would totally be defending it in the name of their faith, country, and anything else they can hijack to group together and move their illogical arguments around. The moral of the story is: Stupid people will do stupid things, accept it and move on.

  29. Wasn’t the point of talking about Buddhism really about saving for our future. I think the author was merely making a comparison, not talking religion.

    • I AGREE. I am disgusted by how negative everyone is. No wonder our country is a mess. We look for something wrong in everything we do and read.

  30. it irritates me that you tell us how much good it does for us to save our money … and I keep thinking yeah, so Congress can raid the fund and use it as they like, but phooey on me getting any cost of living raise … I no longer trust the gov’t and/or social security

  31. Reading and hearing the word of God doesn’t displease anyone who desires an open mind about religious or philosophical convictions. Knowing about the history of the US and how the Holy Bible has influenced historical values of how our democratic republic has evolved, only goes to show that in the market place of ideas that’s where real freedom is found. And it’s where real freedom is exercised! What’s wrong with citizens who do or do not work for the Social Security Administrating ( SSA ) leading the discussion about government benefits for the elderly who are poor and disabled? It’s just that our Faith and Public Sector Communities don’t have the partnerships in reality that Washington is already exclaiming about. Can lies and distortions come to an end. Maybe, it would do a whole lot of good if prayer is reintroduced back into the public school system. Making sure that provisions go to the elderly, who are disproportionately poor and disabled, in a mass consumer society, is a wonderful witness but it eliminated homelessness!

    Maybe, this national malady could be eliminated if there were more thoughtful discussion between the federal government and the actual citizens that pay taxes or even benefit from those same taxes because of their extreme poverty conditions. Anyway, I believe in Christians witnessing until the 2nd Advent of our Lord and until then I think that all of us should encourage public government to come out of the closet and give its gratitude to the churches all around America which serves as beacons of light guiding and sustaining all in our collective efforts to overcome ignorance of the real and true Sabbath. We must leave this darkness forever. In the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen!

  32. Personally, I found it interesting and not the least bit threatening. Just sounds like the same wisdom and urging I hear from many different sources. Common sense to plan for the future.

  33. Think I may become an atheist. I can no longer tell the difference between politics and all the various “religions.”

  34. I really liked the article and the insight it brought. Being an SSA retiree who strived to provide world class service to all, regardless of religious beliefs and all other differences that make us each an individual human being I am most appreciative and thank you. Sometimes it seems there is a tendency to forget we are all members of the human race and kindness can be life changing for all of us.

  35. The writers of this article should have said that Buddist teachings about the long term vs. short-term pleasures are thoughts from one tradition. Many other philosophies and religions say the same thing. Just talking about Buddism gives the impression that Social Security is endorsing it

  36. This post is from a guest blogger from the SGI who took part in a faith based awareness week partnered by SSA. (look at the header) Emphasis on guest, which as a non government official, gives him the right to blog about religion on a government page (or any other for that matter) just as much as it gives anyone else who is responding to this blog. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, sound familiar?

  37. August 22, 2016

    1. Contact Congressman Sam Johnson and the Ways and Means committee to complain about dishonest of Social Security Administration employees, who discriminate, retaliate and are unprofessional.

    2. I have been treated very badly by social security disability review staffs who deny every SSDA claim and forces most people to hire a lawyer.

    3. The lawyers and the Disability review committee for social security are conspiring to make a cottage industry for Social Security Lawyers.

    4. If you complain about social security discrimination, dishonest employees for SSDA and SSA employees with rude/unprofessional attitudes/behaviors then SSA retaliates!

    5. Contact the Ways and Means Subcommittee of Social Security Disability Benefits.
    6. The Chair is Congressman Sam Johnson from Texas. Mr. Johnson is running unopposed for re-election therefore SSDA believe they are too big to fail…

    7. Wrong, help me get the SSDA conspiracy and incompetent agency to work for the disabled and elderly.
    Social Security and the Ways and Means Committee Majority

    Kevin Brady

    Sam Johnson

    Devin Nunes

    Pat Tiberi

    • 1102 Longworth HOB
    • Washington D.C. 20515
    • P: (202) 225-3625
    • F: (202) 225-2610

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