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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    old saying

    I've heard 'Don't just do something-- stand there!' before, but now I just read an article which suggests that the saying is perhaps much older than I thought, even maybe of Buddhist origins.

    Do any of you know more?

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: old saying

    Quote Originally Posted by Laowai View Post
    I've heard 'Don't just do something-- stand there!' before, but now I just read an article which suggests that the saying is perhaps much older than I thought, even maybe of Buddhist origins.

    Do any of you know more?
    Really, where did you read that?

  3. Ouisch's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: old saying

    Quote Originally Posted by Laowai View Post
    I've heard 'Don't just do something-- stand there!' before, but now I just read an article which suggests that the saying is perhaps much older than I thought, even maybe of Buddhist origins.

    Do any of you know more?
    Yes.....I am reminded of the time the Buddhist monk went to a hot dog stand in New York City and told the proprietor: "Make me one with everything."

  4. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: old saying

    What is the sound of one hand clapping?

  5. Newbie
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    #5

    Re: old saying

    So no one has an 'Origins of sayings' book out there?

    I recently saw an interview with the Dalai Lama on American TV, in which the presenter, in my opinion rather irreverently, told that joke about the hotdog to him. The Dalai Lama did not understand the joke, but the presenter broke down laughing.

    I read it in a script to an audio file which came from VOA.

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    #6

    Re: old saying

    This is not an 'old saying', but a sort of joke based on an old saying. "Don't just stand there- do something!" is an old saying that means, "Get busy". By reversing the word order, we use humor to gently tell a person who is 'running around like a chicken with its head cut off' to relax and analyze the situation to figure out the best way forward.

    The Buddhist and the Hotdog Vendor is one of my all-time favortites, but I certainly wouldn't be so rash as to spout that one to the Dalai Lama!

  6. Newbie
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    #7

    Re: old saying

    Are you certain about the age of this saying? Just as you say, I thought it was just a jokey spin on the other saying, but now I'm not so sure. Anyone know when it was first mooted?

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    #8

    Re: old saying

    Quote Originally Posted by J&K Tutoring View Post

    The Buddhist and the Hotdog Vendor is one of my all-time favortites, but I certainly wouldn't be so rash as to spout that one to the Dalai Lama!
    I quite liked this one too:
    Buddhist Joke 2

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    #9

    Re: old saying

    Quote Originally Posted by Laowai View Post
    Are you certain about the age of this saying? Just as you say, I thought it was just a jokey spin on the other saying, but now I'm not so sure. Anyone know when it was first mooted?
    This site gives 'Don't just do something- stand there!' as a comic variation of the original
    Other Stock Phrases - Television Tropes & Idioms

  7. Raymott's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: old saying

    I always remember it as "Don't just do something - sit there".
    "Sitting" (sitting in meditation) has a meaning in Buddhism that 'standing' doesn't. The version with "standing" doesn't seem quite so witty (assuming that "Don't just sit there - do something" is a legitimate version of the original), which I always thought it was.

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