Citizen Diplomacy – Knowledge Exchange

Yesterday, at the end of a long day of errands, I received a phone call with an India number appearing on my screen. As one of my Dharma teachers lives in India, and I have several friends living there, I answered it, wondering who it was and what adventure might beckon. A man speaking in a thick Indian accent and claiming to be a doctor asked to come see me and expressed a desire to exchange knowledge.

As a small business entrepreneur, and sole proprietor, one of my daily challenges in life is navigating cold calls from strangers and making split second decisions on whether to immediately hang up (robocalls asking me to update my Google profile), or say in a polite tone, “thank you, but I”m not interested” (someone asking to speak to the office manager with the telltale sounds of a room full of telemarketers in the background).

But this man wanted to exchange knowledge. I hadn’t heard that before. Personally, I am less interested in knowledge than wisdom at this stage of my life, and wasn’t too sure what I might have to offer him, but in a world with self-centered egotists whipping up xenophobia in order to distract from their crimes (you know who I speak of – I need not name him), it seemed important to buck the trend. I invited him to come by at 930a.m. the following morning for tea.

Dr. B. L. Siroya is both a medical doctor and an acupuncturist.  I can’t remember all that we talked about – community acupuncture, favorite acupuncture points – I was delighted to make new friends; he also brought along his wife and daughter in law. We both agreed about the importance of smiling, not just with the mouth, but with the eyes, the windows of the spirit. That is where true healing begins and ends. He invited me to visit his home in Udaipur. What stranger will you meet today, who might become a friend?

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