Remembering Humility in a Lao Proverb

BY SEE
Sep 13, 2010

“Wherever there's a Lao wat, there's a Lao community dedicated to preserving and practicing Buddhist precepts.”

In recent years, Lao Buddhist temples (wats) have sprung up around the world to care for the spiritual needs of Lao immigrants.

Every one of us has probably read and seen so many signs throughout the years. Signs come in various sizes, shapes and colours. We read one and move on, end of story.

But there is one particular sign in Wat Lao Buddhavong, in Virginia, which caught my attention as I walked past it. The sign reads “Khee Kheng Ya Leum Khuay”, a Lao proverb, which translates to:

“When you’re riding the motorcycle, don’t forget the buffalo”.

 

“Khee Kheng Ya Leum Khuay”

 

One can interpret this proverb in various ways and apply it in so many situations in life. This particular message to me meant:

“Once you’ve made it, don’t forget those folks who had helped you”.

It is very typical in Laos to see such a smaller version of signs nailed to trees all over the temple grounds. To me, this message – simply stated and displayed – is Buddha’s way of teaching and reminding us to remember who we are (and how we got there) all the time.

 

 

This post was originally published on Seeharhed’s Rants in July 2010.

 

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