A Clumsy Great Day
It was an awkward day being my birthday, when devotees from around the area came to present an over-the-top kindness. Maybe that's harsh for me to say, but following a tradition of praising a guru is more than a western-born person can sometimes stomach. Devotees feel that they want to offer their thank-yous on this one day of the year so I surrender to that sentiment. Their words are genuine and heartfelt.
Complications arise when you feel that compliments come every day of the year. However, our guru, Srila Prabhupada, very clearly established a culture of appreciation and I will declare it most emphatically that in the secular world the average person is not honoured, appreciated and encouraged enough. This phenomena is what seems to lead to rampant depression and a feeling of not being respected and loved.
The reality today is "where is family, friends or community to lean on?" Worst still is if you do have people around you yet the infrastructure appears selfishly hollow inside. You can be in a building with people and feel no closeness.
I can say proudly that I don't feel alone, never in my state of Krishna Consciousness this last 38 years. I believe to have true family because there is that R-E-S-P-E-C-T (as Aretha Franklin sings). My dilemma is whether I return it in a mutual way. I don't think I can fairly determine that.
I really do value my association or company of friends. They are indeed 'kind'. Jagannatha Misra and family gave a pair of five finger Vibram shoes to aid in my walking expeditions. Others gave as well. Much appreciated! Ramachandra, a devotee from London, Ontario, gave me his time. We trekked on a loop, passed the Brickworks and back with perfect 20 degree Celsius weather.
All in all, it was a great day. My short address to those who came to the gathering was, "Please have compassion and share the wealth of Krishna with others."