Lesson from Bangkok Tourist Guide

My wife and I and my niece visited Bangkok, Thailand three years ago, and this, being our first trip, we joined a guided tour.  The country is predominantly Budhist and so was the guide. The city is beautiful but crowded. Naturally, the idea of reincarnation came up during conversations with our guide.

The guide mentioned that Budhists believe in reincarnation, and asked us what we wanted to be if we were reincarnated.  Some wanted to be powerful athletes or a dominant elephant with many female elephants in the harem etc. 

Then the guide, in broken English told us his preference.  This is the essence of what he said:  "I would like to return to live as a tree.  Trees are beautiful, live a long time, and continue to contribute something to our planet by giving oxygen, absorbing carbon, and are constantly changing with the seasons.  They have an awareness of rain and sunshine, darkness and light.  They host birds and monkeys and animals and all kinds of creatures with their branches and their roots."

WEmay or may not believe in reincarnation, but it is a way for all of us to think of our place in the world and how we can contribute to the improvement of the planet.  That trip and the guide changed the way I look at trees and how I relate to the planet as a whole.

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