A simple, little Buddha statue seems to be spreading a big message of peace in an Oakland, California, neighborhood.
One resident, who’s not a Buddhist or even affiliated with any other religion, placed a small, stone Buddha at an Ace Hardware store in an Oakland residential area that was plagued by crime, drug-dealing, prostitution, and littering. He was merely hoping that the calm, benevolent presence of the statue would somehow bring a glimmer of peace to the neighborhood. Before long, offerings of flowers, food, and candles appeared at the site. Then, Vietnamese women from the neighborhood began to meet there for morning prayers. “And the neighborhood changed. People stopped dumping garbage. They stopped vandalizing walls with graffiti. And the drug dealers stopped using that area to deal. The prostitutes went away,” says the San Francisco Chronicle. Police crime statistics for the area actually show an 82 percent drop in crime since the women began their morning prayers.
Whether you call it the power of prayer, the power of positive thinking, or the power of peace, this one little statue and this one little gesture has made a big difference in one little neighborhood.
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