Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Shrinking Universe

Paddlers move a boat up the Dubai Creek. In the background is the Burj Dubai, what will be the world’s tallest tower.

I saw something interesting yesterday while walking the stacks at an Atlanta Barnes and Noble, two saffron-robed Asian Buddhist monks, each with a cup of Starbucks coffee in-hand. This is not something that you see every day in this mostly African American part of the city. I watched them with great fascination as they calmly walked through the store, also observing the reaction of the other patrons. It struck me as a huge contrast of cultures, incongruent pieces of different worlds. I wondered if you would get the same reaction at a Thailand monastery if, for example, one of the younger hip-hop dressed customers arrived with a cup of tea in his hand. The universe is truly becoming a smaller place.

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