Monday, 3 October 2011

Friday, September 30th, 2011

“No” Signs

Toronto, Ontario

One of the ladies in the community here said in a rather familiar way, “Oh Maharaja, you look so bright eyed and bushy tailed!” Appropriate remark? Certainly it wouldn’t fly in a traditional context, but her intent was really good. “Yes, I feel great, having tackled two provinces, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland on foot. I’ve shed some karma and some pounds.”

I appreciate that she was at least consistent when she said, “You’ve got sun on your head and stubbles on your chin.”

Again, well intended. Doctors inform me that after a marathon withdrawal symptoms usually occur. But I can’t claim marathon status this time. I only went for two weeks, and a little less than 30 km per day, which is 10 km less than on the other previous cross Canada treks. I would say though that the legs get a little antsy, and want more than a mere 7 km I did today. Sadly, I have to submit to being back in regular mode. On day 1 of being back I took to the streets of the Rosedale neighbourhood, my original training grounds if you will. Funny to see signs of objection, like anywhere else in the country. This morning it was a sign pegged into someone’s front yard that read, “No Mega Quarry”. In Nova Scotia last week a sign I saw last week on someone’s property read, “No Fracking”. In the north, earlier in the summer, angry home owners set plaquards in their sod that read, “No Wind Turbines”. Behind some of these protests, the Nimby principle applies, “You can do what you want to do but ‘not in my backyard’”. It seems folks are ticked about something.

The posting of “No Smoking” is a common message everywhere. And I give that a thumbs up. But being who I am, a renounced person in a spiritual order, I would love to one day see signs that read, “No Illicit Sex”, “No Gambling”, “No Intoxication” and “No Meat Eating”. That would be a lot to ask of such a campaign. Just one serious attempt that one of the above four would save lives of self destruction, I believe.

If I was ever voted in for political office I would urge in this direction. That would sound scary to a secularist. I can just hear the protests now. I would then bargain for at least discouraging the above kind of bad habits. Let’s settle then for me being some modest spiritualist, trying to promote these values of abstinence and replace them with positive engagements. If even a tiny sector of society could adapt to less self gratification, the impact would be enormous.

7 Km

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