Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Why Is God Laughing?

"Why Is God Laughing? The Path To Joy and Spiritual Optimism" by Deepak Chopra has a forward by Mike Myers, copyright 2008. I am not sure Chopra answered the question.
The book is divided into two parts and I was surprised that the first part was a story about, what else, a comedian. The second part is "The Path to Joy: Ten Principles of Spiritual Optimism."
In the first part of the book, a "guide" has the comedian, Mickey, stand at the doorway to a 7/11 type place. He is instructed to open and hold the door for everyone coming or going and hold out his hand palm up. He does not panhandle, by asking for "spare change", but the implication is there with the gesture and pose.

After a while "...he stopped caring how the customers reacted. He'd turned into an impartial observer, a watcher of the passing parade." Someone gave him a quarter and later "He was given another quarter, two dimes, and four pennies." He "began to find this strangely liberating." He mentions a man glaring at him as if he "stole his job", that is the glaring man was another panhandler.

Most homeless do not panhandle. Those that do, seem to those that do not, as somehow being a natural at it, or lacking pride. Yet each of those who do ask strangers for money, had a first time. And if they keep at it, as the character Mickey did, the experience is like his. No one cares. Oh, many of those customers do care, but to them you are just one more face, one more homeless low-life, beggar. Learning to detach, not feel humiliated, is the difference between those that can panhandle and those who can not.

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