In a earlier post I had written about the bountiful supermarkets in Los Angeles and about the variety and abundance there is unparalleled. On the shelves and bins there was produce from many parts of the world. There was seafood from Vietnam, China and India; vegetables and fruits from Mexico and South America and canned and bottled products from Poland, Turkey, England, France, Armenia and a dozen other countries. Wandering the aisles and marveling at this wealth of produce, I couldn’t help thinking how lucky I was to be able to see all this and be in a position to buy some of it. Were my fellow shoppers aware of the logistics and the effort it had taken to stock these shelves ? As they picked through the bins, did they ever think how fortunate they were to be able to buy luscious grapes at 88 cents a pound or three pounds of Persian cucumbers for a dollar? I thought not , because it is our human nature to take for granted what we have.
I was reminded of an utterance by the Indian holy man, Swami Muktananda when he first came to the United States. It was in the arrivals lounge at JFK airport in New York City. He took in the spacious, well-lit lounge with the comfortable seats, the clean rest rooms so different from what he was accustomed to in India. Then he took note of the people around him: rushing to make their flights , grumbling about the lines, fussing about their luggage; tense, harried, anxious.
And he murmured,” They are in paradise and they know it not.”