We have heard that humility is a proper mood for book distribution and it’s good that Krishna reminds us of this on the streets. One afternoon I was out on books in Sydney, having had a nice early start with books practically flying out of my hands, it was only natural for me to start thinking that I was the doer. Welling with pride, I could only see this day getting better when a young man walks up to me and asks if he could see one of the books, my thinking is, “wow I’m so pure, people are now approaching me! ” I gladly handed him a book, and to my shock this young fella took out a pen and scribbled all over the cover of the book I handed him. Then he threw the scribbled book on the ground and walked away. Raging with anger, I screamed at him, “Oi! What is wrong with you? Are you stupid or what?” I may have said some other impolite words too.
As he disappeared in the crowd, I just stared at the book thinking who is going to take this now? This book is ruined. I stood there trying to check my anger and carried on with my day. As my mind began to assess this whole incident, I started feeling guilty about how I spoke to him. Remembering a class from HH Radhanath Swami saying that “Guilt is the voice of Paramatma.” I realised that whatever the reason, I should have been more composed and shouldn’t have been disrespectful. Only If I could see that person again, maybe I can apologize for my misbehaviour.
Almost an hour later, I saw the same young man standing close to me. Before I could even speak, he handed me a $20 note and said that’s for you. As I accepted the note, I asked him why he scribbled on the book? He said he had seen a tik tok video like that and wanted to try it, thinking it was cool. I also asked him why he came back to which he said, “I was feeling guilty. I had to come back.” Hearing him say that I took the opportunity and apologized. I told him how I was feeling guilty too for being rude. Then our conversation became very friendly and turned out to be one of the best exchanges I ever had. He was very favourable and happily took some books (yes! the scribbled one too) and said he would like to visit us at the temple.
After the exchange I was left smiling thinking I hope he gets to visit sometime, we’ll just have to protect them newly painted Temple walls.
Aspiring to be a humble servant