Imagine the rolling hills and sharp mesas of southern Utah draped in a rainforest. Imagine grass roof houses resting on stilts above rice paddies and corn fields. Imagine coconut trees and grey skies patched by sunlight and blue. Imagine a long windy road, neither paved nor dirt, in the middle of an endless landscape.
Imagine two monks walking down this road, one in a sharp orange robe, the other wearing a robe with the hint of olive green, the sign of age. Imagine both monks walking towards you, each caring a light umbrella to protect their cleanly shaven heads. Imagine standing there, sweating in the heat of the Laotian humidity, thankful for the slight breeze blowing across the valley. Imagine those monks turning and smiling at you as they pass by: glowing, satisfied smiles.
Imagine wondering why those monks turned to smile at you. Imagine suddenly realizing that you’ve been grinning ear-to-ear without knowing it. Imagine that smiling exchange, the most simple gesture of humanity, and think to yourself, “what did I do to deserve all this?”