This is Terry.
You can wave to him.
He would like that.
He waves a lot but not everyone waves back.
In fact hardly anyone does.
He sits on a folding chair in the middle of the mall outside Coles looking for someone to say hello to.
You can say Hello to Terry.
Many people pretend not to hear him.
But that does that put him off?
Terry is on a mission.
He is collecting donations for the Blind Sports Association.
There are a lot of people like Terry outside supermarkets throughout Australia.
Not in your face.
And yes, I did.
What seems to be the trouble? he asks .
I cough and splutter all over the place.
He gets the message.
Sits down to write the certificate.
There, he says , handing the form to me . This should do the trick.
I peruse it quickly.
There’s something missing.
You haven’t written down the illness, I say . Why I had time off.
That’s right. If you had Alzheimer’s or a social disease would you want people to know?
My point exactly.
But I thought you had to put something down.
No, he says . And if they ask, tell them to take a running jump . Better still, tell them to phone me and I’ll tell them to take a running jump . Only in stronger terms.
He stands up. Shakes my hand.
The next day at work I hand in the certificate.
The doc’s right .
They see the blank space but no one says a word.
I push it a bit further.
On the official form, the one you fill out yourself, where it says ‘Illness’ I put down ‘See Certificate’ .
It feels good. It really does .
I’ve found a new way to treat with the world.
Matt has been hired by a plumbing company to sell toilets. His old man who works for the same company got him the job. What could Matt do but accept? He was good at nothing else.
Larry, a hotshot salesman goes out with him one day and lays it on the line: “I don’t tolerate laziness. It’s a form of treason,” he says.
Matt says it’s not his fault he’s not pulling in big figures. He has no sales experience and no one is willing to train him.
Larry shoots back, “Baptism by fire.”
But Matt whines and says it’s been over a year and he still has no idea what he’s doing.
Then Larry comes back with this: “Your job is to go out there every day and get your face kicked in. It’s the only path to Enlightenment.”
I don’t know if Larry and the Buddha were talking about the same kind of Enlightenment and if they were would the Buddha have agreed with Larry’s method?
Is Larry right? Or can’t you find Enlightenment through the toilet trade?
Are some trades/professions more inimical to Enlightenment than others? Can a politician find Enlightenment? would it help him in his job?