At the soul level, I’m a hopeless romantic. I believe that ritual and ceremony have a power that kindles the human spirit. On rare occasions I have, performed weddings for close friends whom I love, Several weeks ago I officiated my third wedding. I incorporated into the ceremony lots of personal elements to create a multi-religious, multi-cultural ceremony that brought a diverse audience together, and evolved into a communal love-fest.

I got more kudos for those 25 minutes than any speech I’ve ever given. People came up to me in droves at the reception to tell me how touched/moved/appreciative they were, and by the end said, “ I’m sure you’ve already heard this enough”… I told them one can never hear enough applause because they could be sure that by the time I got home to the family, whatever smoke inflated me here would quickly be evacuated.

It turned out I didn’t have to wait until I got home to get deflated. I was standing at a urinal when a boy (couldn’t have been older than 7) sidled up to the stall next to me. I’d already been there a couple minutes, and was still standing there when the boy finished. He looked up at me as he was zipping his fly and asked “do you need any help unzipping your fly”. I laughed and thanked him for the offer but assured him I was OK, just a little slow.

I’m not sure I’ve ever felt a greater act of loving kindness, because this kid was ready to do it. It was the perfect balance…moments before I was lauded for an inspiring performance, but what this boy saw was an old man who could spend an afternoon in the toilet.

The great blessing for me was the warmth in my heart inspired by a little boy didn’t care who I was or what I did; he only saw an old guy who might need help, and reached out. That boy restored my hope in a future for our civilization…I am a hopeless romantic.