After a dental appointment (a teeth cleaning actually), I left the clinic to catch a taste of the outside air. There I waited for my ride. While sitting on a patch of grass, waiting, a Caribbean man was walking just about passed me when he noticed my garb and my chanting on beads. He stopped. It was good of him to say something in the midst of this busy plaza location.
“So you’re keepin up the faith?” he asked in a certain tone and body language that I could recognize.
I sensed with that jargon and the initial impression he gave that a Christian lecture might be coming my way, which I just wanted to avoid. I decided to “head him off at the pass” in conversation and keep everything on a non-confrontational level and dodge a my-religion-versus-yours type of dialogue. I conjured up a remark, “Are you from Guyana or Trinidad?”
(I will not declare this strategy as a stroke of genius. Perhaps just some experience helps from time to time).
“Guyana,” he said.
“Oh, I’ve been to Guyana, in fact I’ve walked it – the whole coast at one time, three years ago.”
“Really,” he remarked, being impressed.
“Yes, it’s a beautiful country. And you’re from there?” The conversation appeared to be steering in the right direction as I saw he was perked up. It was all pleasantries from here on, and we both “hit it on” from here.
“What faith?” he asked.
We were both so warmed up from the experience of our word exchange which went so well. No need to sermonize each other. I thought we championed a true Christianizing and Krishna-izing through friendship. It became a spiritual exchange instead of walking up against the Great Wall of China. We bid our farewells and both proceeded in “keepin’ up the faith,” I believe.
Then my ride came.