Shedding Clothes, Tackling Inequality

Monday evening I met my first naked monk. Yep, you read that right. Naked.

I tried to be open minded about the situation, but no matter how hard I tried, it was still a little uncomfortable to sit right in front of the cross legged nude man. Even harder was imagining this same man taking a stroll around around downtown Bangalore. It brought to mind some pretty strange imagery.

After listening to the monk state that attachment leads to violence, however, I was intrigued.

You’re thinking: “So what? They are just clothes, right?”

That’s what I thought at first too. And then I remembered our field visit to Tirupur, where women lost their fingers and destroyed their bodies to provide you and I with cheap clothing items. If we were satisfied with traipsing around in our birthday suits, the women in Tirupur would still have their fingers and their fertility.

In Minnesota, where the ground is currently covered in white snow, nudity is not much of an option. But the naked monk has an interesting point regarding attachment. When we are so attached our own wants that we are willing to exploit other people in order to fulfill those wants, we cause violence through inequality, exploitation, and oppression.

Maybe nudist colonies are on to something 😉

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