Grace Under Pressure

[Listen to Asha read this story]

(Told by an Ananda devotee)

I had been at Ananda only a few months, and was helping out in the Retreat kitchen, chopping vegetables. Usually we listened to chants, but this time we had the radio on because Swamiji was being interviewed on a Sacramento station.

The interviewer was quite unpleasant. So rude and aggressive! I began to feel quite upset. Then I realized: Swamiji is not upset. No matter how the interviewer treated him, Swamiji responded in the same thoughtful, kind, and gracious manner.

And gradually, the whole tone of the interview changed. By the end, the radio man was completely won over. Now he was cordial and respectful! If I hadn’t heard the whole show, I wouldn’t have believed it was the same person.

It won me, too. I was new at Ananda, and still making up my mind. Swamiji’s kindness and grace under pressure made a deep impression on me. “That’s the kind of person I want to be.” Soon after, I made the decision to commit my life to this path.

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