I don't generally ask others to give to causes I think of as worthy, but I am willing to break with tradition on behalf of the Buddhist monk, Weera "Tony" Chulsuwan, a 66-year-old from Spencer, Oklahoma, who stepped out of his front door a week ago Friday and was beaten, literally, within an inch of his life by two boys, 14 and 15 -- kids whom Chulsuwan had known until that moment as neighbors.
The teenagers had come to rob Chulsuwan, a man who makes $350 a month and spends his time and energy taking care of animals that others can't or won't take care of themselves. The Oklahoma press rounded up an almost universal opinion that "Tony the Monk" was a good guy -- a guy who would give you the shirt off his back unasked.
The teenagers beat him with a steel pipe and a logging chain (apparently taunting him as they did so), stole various items from the house and then fled. Chulsuwan lay on the porch for 24 hours before he gained enough consciousness and energy to crawl to the telephone and call 911.
I will leave the sputtering adjectives that course through my mind for others to apply. All I hope is that each of us will take a few minutes, forgo a couple of containers of bottled water, empty a casually- filled penny jar, buy a stamp and address an envelope to:
Mr. Weera "Tony" Chulsuwan
c/o The Engaged Zen Foundation
P.O. Box 213
Sedgwick, Maine 04676
A PayPal donation site is also up and running.
My sense is that this guy was living on a shoestring even before the incident and now he has medical bills into the bargain.