It’s my Birthday and I’ll Cry if I Want To
Luckily, though, I don’t want to cry. I want to smile very large indeed. I’ve had Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon, a fabulous chocolate cake with homemade ice-cream, and Amy and I just watched The Man Who Knew Infinity , an absolutely wonderful flick–don’t miss it. So I’ve nothing to cry about at all.
I’ll take this opportunity, though, to tell you a tale that helped change my life. It might shed a little light onto my personal views on what we’re all doing here on earth, and perhaps it will help change your life, too, though there’s a good chance that you already know the end of this tale, and you might already have the wisdom contained therein.
The story comes from Ram Dass, perhaps my favorite philosopher (see his web site here), and I’m paraphrasing it here so please excuse inconsistencies. You can hear Ram Dass himself tell this story on his audio-book, Love, Service, Devotion, and the Ultimate Surrender
Back in the day (whenever the heck “the day” was, but probably in the 60s or 70s in this case) Ram Dass issued a set of vinyl albums full of inspirational thoughts, etc., and he sold them for $5 per set. His father, a very wealthy industrialist and lawyer, asked him if he couldn’t charge more than $5, and Ram Dass said, “Sure, but they only cost $5 to make so that’s all I want for them.”
Ram Dass’ father got upset with this answer, telling his son that he could do lots of good in the world with the money he could make by charging more, and Ram Dass answered with a question:
“Didn’t you defend Uncle Bernie in a law suit last year?”
“Yes, I did,” his dad replied, “Won it, too, though I had to put in lots of hours of research o make it happen.”
“Great,” said Ram Dass, “I bet you must have charged him a fortune, right?”
“NO!,” said his dad, “It was your Uncle Bernie! How could I possibly charge Uncle Bernie a lot of money?”
“That’s kind of my point,” Ram Dass said, “If you can find me one person on earth who is not a member of my family, I’ll gladly over-charge them for my records.”
Namaste, Sisters and Brothers.