Starting today, I’m so blessed to announce that I will officially begin saying “Namaste.”
This has been in the works for quite a while, but after a really successful email signature roll-out, I’m happy to say that beginning today, I’ll also be incorporating “Namaste” into my everyday vocabulary.
The email signature proved my concept, but I’ll admit that I was nervous. Email signatures have always been a point of weakness for me — I don’t need to remind any of you about the “Cheers” disaster of 2015, and “xo” caused nothing but trouble in my tic-tac-toe correspondence league. But after signing off on that first email (“Hey man, I’m gonna be late on rent again this month. Hope that’s cool! Namaste, Dave”), I knew this was going to be different.
I didn’t come to this decision lightly, and I’m sure you have lots of questions for me. I’ll try to cover the basics.
First, some history: I first learned the word “Namaste” in 2015 in my women’s-only yoga class. Other guys might be intimidated by a policy like that, but as I like to say to my androgynous ophthalmologist, I don’t see gender. I also don’t hear phrases like, “Please, can’t you just let us have this one thing?”
The women eventually accepted me into their class, I think because I just have one of those really gentle, feminine spirits, you know? So by channeling that spirit, I find I can reach a place of transcendent understanding with almost anyone: for example, like how, bent over in child’s pose, I reached the understanding that all of us — young and old, male and female — are all just adventurers on this wild ride called life; and how the women in my class reached the understanding that I was going to sit there with my head tucked between my knees until they gave up and just let me stay.
I’ve learned so much from that class, it’s amazing. I went in thinking I would be the one teaching Instructor Susan, but in the end — and this was the craziest part — she was the one teaching me. It’s like Susan was always saying: “Please go back to your mat, Dave, you’re going to get hurt again.”
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Dave, this is so great, and really interesting. But ‘namaste’ is such a fancy word, I bet you’re just going to say it to rich businessmen and high powered executives. Right?” WRONG. That’s actually what’s so incredible about this word: by saying “namaste” to literally every person I interact with, I can honor the light not only in the wealthy and privileged, but also in the lowliest among us, like 2-star UBER drivers and moms that are just done.
You’ve probably heard me tell the story about the time I bowed to an undocumented immigrant. It was such a rush: I’ve never felt more connected to what it means to be human. I can’t expect you to understand, but when I saw him, I just knew — I had to run up a small flight of stairs to reach him, but I did it — I walked right up to him, bowed, and said, “Namaste, immigrant.” He didn’t say anything back, but he didn’t have to: I could tell by the way he tipped his funny immigrant hat that it had probably changed his life. And then he just went right back to his performance in Hamilton.
Does that make me a hero? Honestly, that question makes me uncomfortable. Am I a hero? I don’t know — some people say yes, some people say probably. All I know is that I’m not the person to talk to about that: if you really want to know about real heroism, you should probably talk to Malala, my rescue tarantula.
I do want you to know that even though I say “namaste” now, I’m still the same old Dave! I still spell colour with a ‘u.’ I still insist on lugging a full sized Remington typewriter to Starbucks. And I still run my Etsy shop selling KONY 2012-branded condom wrappers.
What I’m saying is: don’t worry. I may say “namaste” now, but I put my fedora on the same as everyone else: trying to smoothly flip it onto my head with a cane, but instead having it land on a lit stovetop, and then trying to slap out the flames with a towel while screaming, “Not NOW, Nana, you can have your cane back in a second FOR GODDESS’S SAKE.”
This is starting to get long, so I’d like wrap things up by quoting my favorite poem:
Okay, so that’s actually harder than it seems, because my favorite poem is not so much a poem as it is a meaningful look I shared with Banksy once.
But in that spirit, this is where I leave you. And Nick, if you’re reading this: about rent this month. I wasn’t going say anything, but I have been the primary provider of ukulele tunes around the flat and I’ve never been compensated. Cool if we just call it even?
Sent from my iPhone