I just had one of those ironic experiences that are funny in retrospect. I was in Berlin to speak at the World Peace Festival. While I was at a subway station, a thuggish big blonde white guy tried to intimidate me into giving him money. He got uncomfortably close to me and growled something in German. I smiled back and said, “Sorry, you speak English?” With a heavy German accent, he said, “Money!” I pretended I didn’t understand, smiled at him, an said, “Ahhh… good morning.” He growled again, “Money!” And again, I said, “Yes, good morning.” He gave up, growled something in German, and walked away. Ironic that this happened on the day before I spoke to an audience about world peace.
I don’t know what the full take-away is, but I think one lesson is that it is always good to be kind, often good to be unintimidated, and sometimes, you need to do both simultaneously. Kindness and fearlessness is a powerful combination. Hence, some combination of training your body at the gym and training your mind on the meditation cushion is good.