Love the Baby
From HHI Public Information Officer,
I was living in Los Angeles back in the summer of 2006. At the time, I was happily living without a car and spending the days as a web designer and Venice Beach bum.
My friend Greg called me up and said that I had to see visiting Indian spiritual teacher Karunamayi at the Hindu Temple in Malibu and that he would give me his car to do so. It sounded like a great idea, so I accepted his gift of a good idea and 4 wheels.
I picked up his car and drove up the coast and into the Malibu hills. It was a hot summer day with blue skies and the Malibu mountains were as majestic as ever.
I arrived to the temple and didn't know what to think. It was just like the stone temples in India, but I was in the US. I had never seen such a thing in my home country.
There was incense in the subtle breeze around the temple that guided my nose closer and closer. There were many Indians about, using the proper temple protocol: no shoes on the temple floor, remaining quiet and respectful, always making sure to walk around the temple in a clockwise manner and leaving offerings of money, flowers and fruits at the feet of the deity statues.
I was still outside at this point and was confused about which door to enter. I let my intuition guide me a door that was up a small set of stairs. I walked in the door and saw a white marble floor with statues all about. One Hindu priest sat at the back of the room. He wore a white robe and It seemed by the paint on his forehead that he worshiped the Hindu god Vishnu. He was by himself and asked me to sit down.
I did and briefly looked into his eyes with silence. His pupils were so big and brown; I felt like he could see right through me and that I could see the universe in him. All I could do was freeze like a deer in headlights.
He asked me what I do. I told him about my experience with humanitarian aid in Asia. He said "you're very good" and then asked me a question:
A little baby is in the middle of the road crying and you are the first one to see this. What do you do?
I said, with a great nervousness (like I would usually get when answering questions in high school algebra classes:
Pick it up???
No, after you pick it up.
Feed it? (which I knew was wrong, but I was so in shock at this point)
No! You love the baby. That's what the baby wants.
He then went on to say a few words about how that's what we need in the west right now, more than material things. Only love can save us. I found this to be deep and beautiful. I thanked him and left the room to explore the rest of the temple.
About a month ago, while working with Hands to Hearts International, I remembered this story and it was like finding another piece of the puzzle. HHI's focus is to give love and nurturing to children first. HHI is the organization that would answer the Hindu Priest's question correctly and say love the baby first. It's so simple that so many people, including myself, can forget it sometimes.
My Hindu temple encounter really gave more clarity to my experience with HHI. It's so amazing how situations happen in life and sometimes only make sense years later.