The Mountain - At Burger King

eknutson's picture

Average: 4.4 (12 votes)

I dropped my mother-in-law off at the airport in mid March after a nice multi-week visit with us for Jack's 1 year birthday celebration. On the way home I stopped at Burger King to get us a little breakfast. Once in a while we splurge like that and eat the tasty stuff, even if it isn't all that good for you.

Anyway, it was an overcast, cold, and somewhat dreary Sunday morning. And the local BK is rather dark and dingy. The staff there is much like any other fast food restaurant's staff - unhappy to be at work, sick of the smell, and indifferent to the state of the food, tables, counters, etc. That morning I went inside instead of pulling up to the drive up window. I guess I wanted to check the order for accuracy and make sure they didn't screw it up (yet again).

I walked in not knowing who I'd find, but sure that whoever it was didn't want to be there, didn't care what I ate, and pretty much had their mind somewhere else. I expected this because it was what always happened, and besides, who could blame them? And I was ok with that.

Except this morning was different. The woman behind the counter was 30- or 40- something and missing a couple of teeth. But instead of begrudging where she was and what she was doing she was friendly, inviting, and all too happy to help me get breakfast! She had a genuine smile about her that can only be described as radiant. I could tell by the way that the other people working there interacted with her that they really liked working with her. She was a very bright light in an otherwise dark building, on a dark day.

And that's when the thought, as strange as it was, almost absurd and bizarre, had occurred to me. I wanted to get a job in a fast food restaurant so that I could spread happiness, cheer, fellowship, and kindness in an unexpected place. Just like had been done for me that morning. I actually wanted to quit my job to work at BK. Images of Mother Theresa and others flashed through my mind and I felt a calling. Granted, I hadn't eaten yet that day but I'm pretty sure it wasn't a hunger-induced delusion of grandeur.

And just as quickly as the first idea had come, a new idea entered my head (this one making more sense and being very real to me): It doesn't matter one little bit where I work - I need to achieve the goal of spreading kindness, compassion, service, and love in everything I do, each and every day. That is what will give any job I have meaning to me. That is my calling, living for the purpose of communing with others and enhancing the connectedness between all living things.

I have a long way to go. I need to continue tearing down the old structure of my life that isn't serving me with this calling, so that I can become malleable and flexible enough to undergo the change needed to become a vessel of fellowship and love. I do know that this is what's right for me, and I am moving in that direction by being that person a little more each day.

I'm a firm believer that taking trips to new places is a great way to enhance our lives and fill us with new ideas and perspectives. But that cold and dark morning, on a drab Sunday in March, I visited Eden up high on a mountain and had another piece of my spiritual awakening take place.

How truly awesome it is to be alive and bear witness to such things!

Even more wonderful is to be able to share it with all of you!



shira's picture

Be a candle that spreads light

You meet radiant people like that woman at BK in the strangest places...

I once met a toothless, very old chai man on the street in Mumbai, he was full of happiness and smiles... Everyone around him were so happy and cheerful, contaminated by his state...

I realized that day that these incredible people do not try to be happy... they do not even try to make others happy... like a candle which doesn't try to give light and warmth they just are...

I realized that the way to reach this beautiful state is to cultivate the inner light... all the rest will come by itself... Just to work on the inner...

shira | Thu, 05/22/2008 - 06:14
divine intervention's picture

Regradless of place and condition

The positivity of people of this kind that we all meet from time to time in dark places is so strong and unconditional that the poor condition in which they sometimes are does not affect a bit their state...

On the contrary, I start to suspect that only in these very basic conditions with these simple needs, people can truly reach this level of peace. This is in sharp contrast to what the western culture brainwashing has told us.

divine intervention | Thu, 05/22/2008 - 07:48
Jagdip Rana's picture

that is power of positive approach

That is the power of positive approach... If we remove everything that is negative from our day to day lives and adopt positive thoughts/actions/energy life changes. You are happy and by your positive energy you make others also happy....

Jagdip Rana

Jagdip Rana | Tue, 06/03/2008 - 10:38
sisi's picture

should be careful not to remove to subconcious

the problem with positive thinking is that we usually remove the negativity into us, into the subconcious and then it gets only more powerful.

The best way i know to get rid of the negativity and thus be like the girl in Burger King is to let the negativity be and just observe it and see how it evaporates...

sisi | Tue, 06/03/2008 - 12:53
eknutson's picture


Accepting negativity as part of life is critical, as you've said. Life will indeed feel crummy some times. Repression of any feelings is not healthy from physical, mental, and spiritual perspectives!

However, I also believe as well that there is nothing inherently wrong with "this moment" in general, and it is our reflection on past and future that leads us to suffer and worry respectively.

By not focusing our attention on these unimportant (in fact, irrelevant) thoughts we are increasing positivity simply by not adding negativity needlessly. Hence, I agree whole-heartedly with what I believe Jagdip was trying to say as well.

As Shira so eloquently put it: "I realized that the way to reach this beautiful state is to cultivate the inner light... all the rest will come by itself... Just to work on the inner..." and divine_intervention continued "I start to suspect that only in these very basic conditions with these simple needs, people can truly reach this level of peace." to accept what is as being allows us to "be" as well, and our true light shines forth.


eknutson | Wed, 06/04/2008 - 15:34