The phrase “master of my domain” was first coined by the popular Seinfeld episode, The Contest. While academics may be uncomfortable to say that popular media sometimes contribute to our understanding of philosophy, the “master of my domain” concept agrees with even the most ancient teachings from the East (specially the Indian philosophy). Today, something happened on Facebook (which itself is a popular media among the young people) that encouraged myself to write about it.
About a year ago, when a Buddhist monk (a White Buddhist monk to be specific) was asked about his personal views on Adolf Hitler. He said “Hitler was a master of his own domain”. Some people in the audience thought that it was unethical for him to say what he said while acting as a Buddhist monk. I disagree because most people go to their places of religious worship as a socio-political statement rather than to follow true religion or philosophy. According to verified old Buddhist textbooks, what this particular monk said about Hitler was not only a valid opinion, but also aligns with what Buddha said.
Everyone has flaws while some flaws may be extreme
According to Buddhism, everyone has flaws, which includes Buddha himself. The only difference between a “good guy” verses a “bad guy” is how the majority of a given society define a person’s character one way or the other. For example, Hitler was a great speaker and he did revitalized the German economy. If World War II (1939-1945) was won by the Axis, we would be learning all the crimes committed by the Allies forces. Since it happen to be other way around, the definition of a “good guy” verses a “bad guy” describes Allies forces verses Axis forces respectively.
Even when someone fought for what considered as the “good side”, if the political views don’t align with the what is defined to be “good”, that person (or a county) can be placed under the bad side. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) is a great example of victimization by the popular culture. They did fought against the Axis as a strong force and won only to confront with what is known as the “cold war” from the West. The USSR was vilified and their acts of war were magnified while rest of the Allied forces were glorified. What is the last time you read, hear or watch something (anything even a few second commercial) that talk about how American forces dancing around with sticks attached to decapitated Japanese soldiers? But you sure came across how bad the Russian nuclear war heads, but not a single bad word about Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Even the reasons why Japanese Imperial Army attack America was altered to fit the rosy fake history of USA (search for Imperial Oil and J. D. Rockefeller Standard Oil(World War I, but it also was a predecessor to US companies in World War II) for why Japan attack US at the first place). These are only few examples compared to how the popular culture treat countries like China, India, Japan or famous people like Dr. Sir Arthur C Clarke and such.
Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. – Buddha
The mass media in the modern day is working hard to alter the history, the truth and facts. Almost every famous person is hit by so called, scandals or negative press. From fathers of free speech to the racist totalitarians, the truth is far beyond what people believe. Even the world’s most ruthless criminals like Hitler has a good side. You cannot live in this world at peace if you only force on the negative things about people around you.
With a growing population attached to the Internet and mass media, we believe what large companies and powerful countries want us to believe. No matter what a person does in his life time or a what a society does in the history, the beauty is in the eyes of the holder.