Today, 02.24.2013, I had a very humbling and touching experience.
A few blocks from, my house, is the Vietnamese Buddhist Temple.
February is the New Year…..year of the snake.
I was driving past the temple a few hours ago, and I noticed the monks were walking in a procession. So, I turned the car around …a fast U-turn! and went back home for my camera. When I returned, the procession had ended, so I just decided to photograph some of the surroundings.
People were coming and going , all nicely dressed, and there I was in my hanging-around-the-house clothes!
So I kept to myself, and after I finished with my few shots I turned to leave.
I heard a man call to me , and I turned around to see an elderly Vietnamese man telling me, in a few words of broken English, to go for food..and pointing to a space between the two buildings, where there were people in line. I explained that my money was in the car.. and he said . “no money..no money.. Buddha!”, and smiled and pointed again. He followed me to make sure I went to the right place…and said something in Vietnamese to the lady giving out the boxed lunches, and she smiled at me and gave me what you see here in the photo. I put my hands together, bowed and said "Happy New Year*.
I was so humbled and touched by the way I had been accepted, and urged to share in Buddha’s gifts.
I was the only Caucasian there, and the only one poorly dressed, or so I felt. As I walked to my car, I smiled at people coming in, and said "Happy New Year " to each of them. They also smiled at me and said the same to me.
When I got back to my car.. I actually shed tears…how kind these Buddhists were… how accepting… how welcoming….. how warm.
Again I ask…. why can’t all the people of the world respect each other, and truly care about each other?
I have been asking this question since I was fourteen years of age.. and here I am now, at age….well let’s just say a lot older…. still waiting for the answer… still waiting for peace among all people….