'Meeting with Mayor of Perth'

Sri Chinmoy: You are the Mayor of Perth, so you have the responsibility for thousands of children. I happen to be a teacher, so I also have a responsibility, but for only a thousand children. I know how difficult it is to deal with only a few people and you, being the Mayor, have to deal with many, many problems every day. I admire your dedication and hard work.

Lord Mayor: Thank you for your understanding. I find it very rewarding to be responsible for such a number of different types of people in the city: We have many ethnic groups here. There's the Greek community, the Italian community and some from India and Sri Lanka, and our Aboriginal community (I speak their language a little). I find it easier to please the average person than the odd man at the top. I often don't quite understand the attitude of some of the people who you would think could have the same sort of responsibility as we have, who could try and do the best they can for everybody, but avoid it because it is a burden.

Sri Chinmoy: From the spiritual point of view we take each responsibility as an opportunity. Responsibility means opportunity to widen our consciousness. If I have a responsibility towards you, then if I properly use that responsibility, I become one with you.

Lord Mayor: I'm very self-critical. I feel that ever since I was a little boy I clearly saw the right path, and I used to wonder why people like the Dean had to preach every week. Now I realise that they could preach every hour on the hour and still be needed to continue saying what they do. So it is an inspiration to meet someone such as yourself. I get a sense of re-dedication to things that so obviously need to be done.

Sri Chinmoy: It is most kind of you to say so. We feel that spirituality is like our regular food. We can't depend on yesterday's food. Yesterday we ate because we were hungry. Today, when we are again hungry, can we say that yesterday's food was enough? No. Today's hunger needs and demands new food. Every day we have to strengthen ourselves with new food, new inspiration. Then only can we be satisfied inwardly and outwardly.

Lord Mayor: Thank you, thank you. Well, you have brought a big meal for me today. I had a very rewarding task once. I had to lead a mission of goodwill to India, and it went off wonderfully well. We made a great number of friends among the average people we met while we were there, and I was very taken with the calm philosophy of so many. The Indians are a million years ahead of us in understanding not to fuss about things that don't matter. They've got a sense of judgement of what matters and what doesn't matter, probably from people like yourself teaching them and inspiring them. Are you enjoying your trip to Australia?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, I have been enjoying it very much. Right from the start of this journey, I have been blessed not only by the soul of Australia but by the kindness of its people as well.