Zach and I decided to take the metro into DC yesterday because it was a lovely fall day and he wanted to ride the big merry-go-round and I wanted to see the houses from the Solar Decathlon (www.solardecathlon.org)
After walking around a lot, a picnic lunch on the National Mall, , and lots of exploring I was ready to head home. I noticed a large crowd at the Capitol and asked a woman what was going on down there.
She said "The is about to speak."
Decision time. It's warm out. Z is hot and tired. Do I schlep him one mile down and then one mile back to hear the speak. Or do I cut my losses, go home, and read about it on the news.
I hear the Tibetan horns bellow all the way down the great green lawn, I grab Z's hand, fling him on to my hip and say "let's go!"
One mile later, we make it down there just in time to join the crowd and hear the Dalai Lama speak. Of course Z was more interested in picking dry dead fish out of the drained reflecting pool and chasing pigeons. But it was amazing just being there.
Then Zach asks "Why are ALL of these people here to see a MONK?"
I have his Montessori preschool teacher, Miss Sherry, to thank for the answer. When the children say their final goodbyes at the end of the school day, the teacher has them press their hands together over their heads, then over their hearts and say: "Namaste, the good in me sees the good in you" and that is how they end the day.
So I used that to tell him the 3 year old version of why all of these people came here to see this monk:
"The once lived in a magical, beautiful land called Tibet and lived in a beautiful gold castle on a mountain top. He spent his days with the people he loved reading, and singing, and helping his neighbors. One day some people came to his land, burned down the buildings, took all of his books and toys, and hurt his friends and family.
But the did not hurt the men back, he did not burn down their homes, he did not even use mean words.
He just said "Namaste: the good in me, sees the good in you."
And then mean men got so angry they ran the out of his beautiful land, and ruined the castle, and hurt more people. But the still didn't get mad. He just said again "Namaste: the good in me sees the good in you."
And he's been saying that for a LONG time. And even though many years have passed, the mean guys still won't let him go home. And he STILL says "Namaste: the good in me sees the good in you."
Most people would get mad, and hurt the bad guys back, or say mean things to them. But he doesn't. And most people think he is the nicest guy in the whole world because of that.
And that's why all of these people are here to see this monk. Because if more people did what he does, and always said "the good in me sees the good in you" instead of getting angry when things go bad, the world would be a better place."
To which Zach replied: "Oh. Ok. Can we go back to the merry-go-round now?"
I said, "Sure pal, let's go." But before we walked away he turned toward the speaker's podium and pressed his hands together over his head and heart and whispered "Namaste. It's good that you see the good in me and all those bad guys too."