Posted by: Upāsaka | 08/01/2015

A Strange Inversion

Today, as I ran my errands I was on the lookout for a victim. I scanned the usual places: the corner of 14th St and 1st Ave, all along 14th St to Broadway, even down on St. Mark’s and Astor place all to no avail. Strangely, on a beautiful day like today all I saw were well-to-do tourists and NYU students. Now, that in itself should be a cause for mudita to arise and, if I were slightly more mindful during my walk, I might have remembered that but I was on a mission to find someone to impose my charity upon.

It is a strange inversion to suddenly find oneself seeking the company of the homeless and destitute and finding a sudden warmth in one’s heart just thinking about them but there it is. I am kind of uncomfortable, even now, sharing this as it seems almost too self-congratulatory but the joy I felt when realizing that I didn’t have to find the most obvious of mercy cases to whom to give convinced me that sharing would be appropriate.

So, there I was, still in search of someone to whom to give when an older gentleman offered me a card to some new restaurant or something. I politely declined but then it struck me: here is a man in his fiftie, standing in the hot sun and giving out promo cards all day long. I looked and saw he nothing to drink and surely he couldn’t go get anything himself. So, that settled it: I walked into a store and bought him a bottle of water. His acceptance of the gift was well-worth it and he gave me an even greater gift in return by showing me that I need not limit my generosity to only the “worst cases” I find. May he be well, happy and peaceful! Sukhitaa hontu!


  1. I like this. It’s like your saying : The answer is right there; we don’t have to search for the right person to be kind to, they are all around us. All deserving.

    • Wow! I love the way you put it. Thanks for that, that is precisely what I should have said.

  2. Very nice story, friend. Everyone is our kin. Everyone is deserving of kindness and compassion and charity. Well done!

    • Thank you as always Lorien! Be well!

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