Looking for the Ottawa Holiday Inn

Yesterday in Ottawa I went out to run early in the morning. I had been running for about an hour and fifteen minutes when I realised that I was lost. I asked a very nice and kind-hearted black lady where the Holiday Inn was. She said, "Oh dear, where are you? It is so far. Go straight down for at least twenty blocks and then ask people to show you where it is. You won't be able to understand how to get there from here, so after twenty blocks you ask someone where it is."

I ran about twenty blocks to a place that I later found out was only two or three blocks away from the hotel. Unfortunately, when I asked a young boy where the Holiday Inn was, he told me exactly the opposite way. Instead of telling me it was two blocks in one direction, he turned the other way and said, "Run that way. Go only a couple of blocks — two or three more — and then you will find it." He even pointed the way with his finger.

I ran two or three, then six or seven blocks, and still I didn't see the hotel. Finally, I approached someone else: "Somebody told me that the Holiday Inn was only two blocks in this direction."

The man said, "Not this direction. It is in the other direction. Turn around and go the other way."

I said to myself, "Whom to believe?" The first time, when I was following the young boy's instructions, I was having no doubts. But by this time real doubt had started. O God, what could I do? When one is a stranger, one has to believe in these people. Finally I said, "All right." So I covered six or seven blocks in the other direction, and finally I found the Holiday Inn there.

Sri Chinmoy, Salutations, numbers 5-8.First published by Agni Press in 1981.

This is the 450th book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.

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by Sri Chinmoy
From the book Salutations, numbers 5-8, made available to share under a Creative Commons license

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