An American lay Buddhist sangha member related the following story from yesterdays Thanksgiving Dinner, which he had with his wife and extended family, including two young grandchildren.
We were all gathered round the table full of holiday dishes, quite a spread, we paused a moment to take it all in. I said something like “Gee, look at all this lovely food, thank you, maybe we need to say a verse or something*. Young Zain (6 years, or so), sensing the gravity of the situation and quickly searching his memory banks, came up with the one verse he knew well, learned from school, The Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag! So he had us all place our hands on our hearts and then he lead us in reciting: “I Pledge Allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands-one nation indivisible-with liberty and justice for all.” (That’s the original version.)
*For those not familiar with our practice we generally recite a verse aloud before eating a meal, when alone or in the company of fellow practitioners. Or recite it silently when the circumstances call for that or just simply say ‘Thank you’. Basically we bring gratitude to mind for the food which enables us to continue to practice.
One can bow to the innocence of a child’s fresh young mind that came up with a verse, even though not quite appropriate for the occasion. Thank you Zain.