Reconciling Kindness and Firmness

For a whole week I’d experienced a profound sense of detachment while distributing books at the southbound platform within the illustrious Broadway-Lafayette subway station in New York City. My steadiness and purity of mind were unprecedented. I jotted down notes to myself on how one must be kind and smile at everyone, regardless of their response. Be light. That was the key.

The next week I attempted to employ the realizations Krsna had compassionately offered me. As the recently elected sankirtana leader, I felt it my duty to grow into a position of steadiness and lightness. What I met with, however, as a result of my efforts, was unremitting and exquisite torture from one subway stop to the next.

Everyone I approached knew me by name and didn’t want to hear it anymore. Had I burned my home base completely? Grand Central Station was fresh but no more merciful. And just as I was pushed to my limits, ready to break, I called out, “Krsnaaa! This has to stop! I’m not going to let everyone walk all over me. It’s insane. It stops now!”

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