One of the people I encounter nearly every day at Hodgkin house is one of the cleaners: Sammie. She is a middle-aged, short, stocky Thai woman with a passion for cell phone deals and gossip about the lives of my housemates. Sometimes the gossip is in fun, talking about 'mr romeo' or the anonymous notes put up in anger: "would whoever ate my yogurt please replace or else there will be trouble!" But sometimes she rants about this unclean spot and that unclean pan and how bad 'they are'. The negative rants, as well as the relationship gossip, have all been a bit unpleasant to me, though I have always just smiled and listened.
But this week she asked me what I study and when I told her it is Buddhism, her face lit up. "You study Buddhism!? I'm a Buddhist, you know. Wow. Jackpot." And on she went about her knowledge of Buddhism.
Now, the last few times I've seen her it's been all about Buddhism; no gossip, no complaining, just talking about Buddhism.
If only we could turn all of those unpleasant people/situations in our life into pleasant ones like this! -jw