I’ve come back out of my early semi-retirement (e.g. travel and leisure) and have re-entered the work force. Partly for fun, and partly to fund my daughter’s extended education plans.My travels to SE Asia has changed me, brought me new experiences, and brought me fresh understanding on life, the universe, and well…as the saying goes…everything. I have an interesting mixture of views, primarily expanding on my whole live, let live, and learn philosophy to life.
At work, a couple weeks ago, I had an interesting experience. A customer, who I have helped a few times before in the store noticed I wore a Thai amulet. He asked me about it, and without getting into too many details in this article, learned about my travels and my beliefs in the philosophical wisdom of the Thai Buddhism I had been exposed to. He paid for some merchandise, which he had to return later to pick up, and mentioned he had something for me. I didn’t think too much about it and took it at face value.
A few days ago, he returned to pick up his merchandise. It turns out that this kind, soft spoken man, is a lecturer for one of the top universities in Thailand, who lives here now, and he (also?) teaches meditation. He asked me a few questions, most of which I didn’t have the answers for…they were a bit about the history of Buddhism. I think he was trying to sense a couple things… my sincerity, my experience, and my knowledge base. I failed in the knowledge category, as again, I am more concerned with the philosophy and have not studied the doctrine much. It didn’t deter him, though, and he reviewed (in a short time) the three main things I should remember, then from his bag pulled out three amulets. He told me what each one meant and allowed me to choose one.
It was a wonderful and unexpected event, and one that really touched me. I consider the exchange a direct outgrowth of my travel experiences and reflect now on how much traveling has changed me, for the better.
I’m thankful and quite touched that the customer was so kind as to give me something so precious and meaningful.