A Thanksgiving Story -- For nearly two years, I visited Venice Beach every Saturday. I picked up my friend from Zimbabwe in L.A., as well as two Starbucks coffees. Along the famous Venice boardwalk, we gave people bagels donated from Noah's Bagels and offered to tell people all about God, but only who were interested. At first, many pushed us away and/or told us off; one man even spit on me. Over time, they began to learn that I was not forcing "religion" on them, instead, we offered them an alternative to their way of living--it was their choice. My job was to be an ambassador.
During this time, I made lots of friends, most of which were of religions other than my own. We respected each other and in turn, I ended up learning a lot about their beliefs.
Swami (as he liked to be called), became a friend and ally. Swami and I looked out for each other. We shared each others meals, stories and spent hours talking about life, values and ideas. Eventually, Swami left Los Angeles for India to be with his family.
The gentleman who spit on me later allowed me to take his portrait. I returned the next week with a 5 x 7 of himself. With a tear in his eye, he smiled and explained, "No one has taken my picture since I was a boy." We too became friends.
I have a lot to be thankful for on this day.