Tonight I made an observation at a salad buffet restaurant with my 19 months old daughter. An Asian woman was sitting on a long table across from me, looking anxiously like she was waiting for someone. I thought that was a bit odd. I thought perhaps she wasn’t interested engaging in conversation with few people sitting at the same table. I continued eating my soup. I was paying attention to my daughter, then I felt energy shifted. I looked at the woman. She stood up like everyone else. I see a male in brown robe, carrying a tray of food walking pass my table toward his seat. Everyone were greeting him and paid extra attention to him. The Buddhist Monk looked embarrassed by all those unnecessary attention. One would pull his chair. One would offer to fill his cup. Buddhist Monk put his tray down and said, “No, no, leave it. I’ll do it myself.” He proceeded to gather things for his plate then he returned to his seat. A woman brought Buddhist Monk a plate of bread. Another woman brought him a plate of pizza bites. I don’t even know who that man was but I could tell he was bothered by extra attention. I could tell that Buddhist Monk do not want that kind of attention because he just wanted to eat like everyone else.
Few minutes later, everyone were standing up to gather around behind Buddhist Monk for a picture. I thought, “Wow, they really look up to him.” I thought to myself why? Is it because he’s a Buddhist Monk, a higher person closer to God? Is it a part of their culture that Buddhist Monk need to be respected? Is it because if they take care of them then they will receive blessings? There were endless questions about why the way they treated Buddhist Monk. However, I have high respect for him because he devote himself to his beliefs. I also have high respect for him that he found his calling. I thought to myself that devoting your whole being to your beliefs was amazing.
But what about those people who were fond of him? What were their purpose of paying him extra attention? Are they just admirers? Are they just seeking for an inspiration? Are they just paying him respect? I really don’t know the answers but I can tell you that they might admire him for his strength and they wanted the same thing for themselves. They wanted to know how Buddhist Monk found his strength to be his true self. Buddhist Monk do not want silly extra attention or be considered as an ‘icon.’ He just want to eat like everyone else and be left alone.