Laughter And The Card
I left the temple sadhana (spiritual workout) early in order to trek to Services Ontario to renew my medical health card. I passed by a picture frame shop. Charlie Chaplin’s picture caught my eye. The caption read, “A day without laughter is a day wasted’. Next to him was a picture of Einstein. His quote read, “science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind.”
I reached outside the government services office an hour before opening. The line – up had begun. I was number 2. I checked my pocket for my requirements, three pieces of I.D. –birth certificate, social insurance number, and passport. On the phone the day before the health card personnel, Crystal, asked for proof of my residence by way of another piece of I.D. She was surprised I didn’t posses more identification than this.
No cards? Well, I’m a monk.
Drivers’ license? Well, I let mine expire years ago when I discovered the great wonder of walking. Crystal settled for a letter from our institution to verify my home address. SO I read the letter of verification. It read that I was a long standing member…….
How true! I stood in that line so long before official doors opened. It gave me a laugh.
My day was not wasted.
And as far as Einstein‘s words are concerned, our guru, Srila Prabhupada used to say, “Religion without philosophy is sentiment or sometimes fanaticism, while philosophy without religion is mental speculation.” That’s a statement that goes rather deep.
In any event I was happy to have a renewed health card. In walking back to the temple/ashram when I contemplated on a remark made by an American couple the night before. I had my runners on, a gift from someone in Trinidad when the fellow said, “Excuse me! I was just curious about your robes and then I saw your sneakers. Shouldn’t they be sandals or something like that?”
“Well, I do long distance walking. Try three times across Canada?”
“Shut Up!” he said which is really a kind way of expressing disbelief.
We made friends. We had a good laugh. Our day wasn’t wasted in the least. Laughter is better that a health card.