Friday, March 13, 2009

A Moment of Kindness

The Dalai Lama
Originally uploaded by ojodorado

I had two things on my mind to talk about when I sat down to blog today. One was an incident on a bus that reminded me of the importance of the small moments of kindness in the world. And the other was China.

What photo was I going to choose that could illustrate one or both of my thoughts? Ahem, said the Dalai Lama from my flikr page, choose me choose me.

So I did, and in posting his smiling face I am reminded of that powerful moment when I snapped the photo in Cusco, Peru, as His Holiness arrived to meet with representatives of the Qero people.

I had many many powerful and 'mystical' moments in Peru which I am now being challenged to translate to my ordinary life in the daily slog of a crumbling and shifting California.

So, first the moment of kindness. And then China.

I was waiting for a bus in Richmond California to go visit a friend in Marin County when I struck up a conversation with an elder woman who said she liked the color of my hair. Turns out she was a psychic and had
all sorts of interesting things to say. But probably the most interesting was that she thanked me for the conversation, saying that she had been feeling that people
in Marin were not very kind, and that our conversation had reminded her that there were still kind people in the world.

This came at a time when I wondered if I was 'wasting my time' and not 'doing enough' with myself, watching everyone buzzing around in their cars and hammering away on their laptops while I seemed to be spending more time these days noticing what is actually going on around me.

So it was an 'aha' moment,like the beautiful stone you find on your path that reminds you that you are on the right road.

Now for China. In the news today there's an article about China's nervousness about the U.S. economy, and its advice to us to spend our money wisely or they may not want to give us any more of it. All of a sudden I felt like I was back in the 'developing' world, when I was always reading articles about how the U.S. wanted the government of whatever particular country I was in to act. Them that holds the cash holds the power, I spoze. And now the shoe is on the other foot.

But wait, my photo of the Dalai Lama says. Now you have to somehow link these two ideas. And what, he says, does kindness have to do with China and the economic crisis?

Well, you of all people can certainly tell me about China, I say. And maybe I don't know the answer to that question.

But I do know that kindness, like fear, is a kind of viral disease---the more you feed it the more of it you get.

And that if you are foolish enough to be riding buses in Marin County when almost everyone else is driving, you never know what you might find.

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