Streets of Prague

Since I’m waiting to meet Biss and Savella, I thought I’d share a couple of street scenes from Prague and my accompanying thoughts.  Seeing street beggars is very common, but they have changed their tactics a bit.  Now, many if not most of them have dogs with them.  Regardless of their motives, it does seem to make a difference in their success.  People who I doubt would have stopped to give money to the beggar stop and show compassion for the dog.  Is it always just a case of a person and his best friend being in dire straits?  If the person destitute enough to beg, should he have a dog?  Is the dog simply a cynical prop to evoke sympathy?  Have people become so convoluted in their sense of value that a dog touches their hearts more than a human?

As I hurried down a street I have walked down countless time, I noticed a tourist standing in the middle of the street taking a picture.  I couldn’t imagine why until I turned around and looked at the building he was shooting.  It was beautiful.  I had never noticed it before that moment despite the fact I had walked by it so many times.  As I continued walking I reflected on the fact that the world around us is filled with beauty.  This beauty can at least make us smile and will hopefully cause us to gratefully reflect on a creator.  Too often we miss it as we hurry along in our own little worlds.

My weakness for drinking hot tea at sidewalk cafes provides lots of opportunities for people watching.  In Prague that people watching includes at least once a trip seeing the Krishna’s walking and chanting as a group in their easily identifiable clothes.  Through the years, I have seen them in very large numbers with what appeared to be sympathetic crowds following them.  More recently I notice their numbers dwindling and the smaller number of onlookers being amused.  Never the less, they persist in this expression of their faith.  Of course, I’m saddened as I see this energy focused in a fruitless direction, but I’m also very impressed by the strength of their convictions and their willingness to publicly demonstrate it.  May we be as courageous and energetic in seeking those who are seeking.

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