The Misfit

Anna, during a recent trip into Mexico to perform a wedding, I found myself at a posh resort hotel with a 150 people who were there exclusively to enjoy. I was there to work, they were there to party. On the first evening I saw these people huddled around an open bar by the beach drinking, dancing and listening to loud music. I wondered what I was doing there. I don’t drink, I don’t dance and I don’t sit around bars listening to loud music. So I felt out of place and even a little annoyed at myself for agreeing to be there.

But then I realized that there is an interesting feature of Hindu society that I could take solace in. First, I was not expected to participate in this group. Everyone knew I was there as the priest and no one was expecting the priest to participate in the fun. Priests are allowed and even expected to be non participatory. In fact I will go further and say that priests are social misfits and that Hindu society allows for this. I think this is the case even in Western society. So as all this party life was swirling around me, I ate some food and then went to my room to write and rest. No one missed me and I was happy.


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