People say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but at the bookstore, I find myself only picking up hardcovers that catch my eye – whether with a bold design or a picture of a fascinating figure from history.  It’s rare that I’ll gravitate toward a book without an interesting graphic on it.

So, yeh, I’ll admit it.  I do size up people based on how they look.  But I’ve always told myself that I do it “without judgment.”  That I’m just analyzing data based on years of experience with all types of people and that I always treat everyone exactly the same way.  With respect.

Imagine my surprise to find out I regularly categorize people based on preconceived ideas, even stereotypes!  Shocking.  I guess I must have known that I do this, but thought it was not intended in a malicious way, so it was no big deal.

Watching a documentary about spiritual journeys, I heard my eyebrows raising as a white man with a long grey beard and a name his mama surely didn’t give him (Bagavon Something or Other) came onto the screen.  I felt my cheek starting to curl into a smirk.  Down in my throat, I sensed the words, “are you for real?” forming.

And then it happened.  Bagwan Thisorthat said something I never expected.

The truth.

He gave me something I didn’t see coming.

A way to articulate deep wisdom in very simple words.

Pause for effect….

He said,

“Worrying is praying for what you don’t want.”

Sheesh.  Got me good with that one, God.

Out of respect for the gift he gave me, I googled the actual name of this fellow traveler on the road of life and it is:  Bhagavan Das.  Apparently he’s a Buddhist yogi who is popular in some spiritual circles. I do admit that I stifled a chuckle when I learned his real name was Kermit Michael Riggs and that he was born in Laguna Beach, California (Om, dude!).  But I’ll give him his props for teaching me a couple of things.  You never know who God will speak through, and you can judge a book by the cover, but you may miss a good story.  At least open the book to see what’s inside.

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