Sunday, August 28, 2011

Good Morning, Thug

I just had one of those ironic experiences that are funny in retrospect.  I was in Berlin to speak at the World Peace Festival.  While I was at a subway station, a thuggish big blonde white guy tried to intimidate me into giving him money.  He got uncomfortalby close to me and growled something in German.  I smiled back and said, "Sorry, you speak English?"  With a heavy German accent, he said, "Money!"  I pretended I didn't understand, smiled at him, an said, "Ahhh… good morning."  He growled again, "Money!"  And again, I said, "Yes, good morning."  He gave up, growled something in German, and walked away.  Ironic that this happened on the day before I spoke to an audience about world peace.

I don't know what the full take-away is, but I think one lesson is that it is always good to be kind, often good to be unintimidated, and sometimes, you need to do both simultaneously.  Kindness and fearlessness is a powerful combination.  Hence, some combination of training your body at the gym and training your mind on the meditation cushion is good.


  1. I take it he wasn't there for the festival?

    Perhaps it's also a reminder that there's still a lot of work to do out there; it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking everyone is on the same page. Hopefully events like the World Peace Festival keeping moving us in the right direction!

  2. Also a valuable takeaway: If you can't convince 'em, confuse 'em!