I had a great idea for a personalized license plate: “DONOHRM”.


Get it? “Do No Harm”. It is one of the cardinal virtues and most important tenants of Buddhism. The phrase (to give a brief etymological explanation) comes from the Sanskrit word, “Ahimsa”, which means, “not to injure”. The phrase, “Do No Harm” is a more popular translation of the word.


I love the idea of having “DONOHRM” as my license plate. It would represent a large part of who I am and who I constantly strive to be. It also speaks to the kind of acupuncturist I wish to be. As I hold that phrase as my core virtue, my treatments become easy. It has nothing to do with me and what I may feel is best for the person. Rather it is what the person is asking for in his or her Heart. As I help the person achieve their very best, I am assisting in his thriving, her flourishing.


As I thought more about the idea of a license plate, I began to think of getting a Clarity Acupuncture decal on my car. What a great idea! The business name including phone number and web address, along with the Buddhist phrase of virtue on my license seemed to be a no-brainer of a marketing tool. What a great way to get more people to contact Clarity Acupuncture. Every time I’m at a stop sign or light, every time I drive on the street or highway, every time I’m parked in a parking lot, people will see the name Clarity Acupuncture along with my core value on the license. Great idea, right?


Well, then I drove on 95 and I was aggressively cut-off by another driver. I swerved to miss him, almost veering completely off the road. I am honest to say that by the time I regained control of my car, I was hot with anger. I screamed a few choice words in his direction and had to keep myself from pursuing thoughts of doing more road-ragey actions. After calming down more fully from the experience, I immediately thought of my idea of having the Buddhist license and my business info on my car. Having all that on there for the world to see, essentially makes me nakedly accountable for anything and everything I do, whether justified or not, whether my fault or not. Anyone could post any little traffic infringement on my Yelp Page, and then I’m on the defensive.


I’m not saying that people shouldn’t hold me accountable for my actions. What I am saying is that it just took that one moment of human reaction to make me realize that while I’m a GREAT acupuncturist, I’m not ready to have the spotlight on me 24/7. I still have my moments of human-ness. I’m not totally pure. I’m not the Dali Lama. Not yet, anyway. I’m getting there. And one day I hope that I will have the confidence to tell the world that I always Do No Harm.


For now, I wish I could have a license that says, “MOSTLYDONOHRM”.