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Lions Roar : March 2008
SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2008 87 arranged to provide flowers with fragrance, glow worms with their glow, and make the stars in the sky sparkle.” By example, he taught them the mental salve of mindful chores, like the slow, attentive picking up of bowls, spoons, and plates after a meal: When I collect the dishes myself, I can see the cracked plates, the bent spoons, the scratches on the bowls...I can see how the careless diners throw about, partly in a quasi-aristocratic and part- ly in a churlish manner, the spoons, knives, the salt shakers and cups... Sometimes I watch how the extras are distributed and who sits next to whom. And I get some ideas. For if I do some- thing, I never do it thoughtlessly. The waiter’s job is of great use to me, it’s pleasant and interesting. Anticipating their calamity and fright when deportation day came, on August 6, 1942, he joined the children aboard the train bound for Treblinka, because, he said simply, he knew his presence would calm them. A photograph taken at the Um- schlagplatz shows him marching, hatless, in military boots, hand-in-hand with several children, while 192 other children and ten staff members follow, four abreast, escorted by German soldiers. Silently, Korczak and the children boarded red boxcars not much larger than chicken coops, usually stuffed with seventy-five vertical adults, though all the children easily fit. In 1971, the Russians named a newly discovered asteroid after him, 2163 Korczak, but maybe they should have named it Ro, the planet he dreamed of. The Poles claim Korczak as a martyr, and the Israelis revere him as one of the Thirty-Six Just Men, whose pure souls make possible the world’s salvation. According to legend, these few alone, through their good hearts and good deeds, keep the too-wicked world from being destroyed. For their sake, all of humanity is spared. The legend says that they are ordinary people, not flawless or magical, and that most of them remain unrecognized throughout their lives, while they choose to perpetuate goodness, even in the midst of inferno. ♦ www.festivalmedia.org AVAILABLE AT RETAILERS EVERYWHERE WATCH ALL THE TRAILERS ONLINE NOW ON DVD! A film by ALSO: THE DALAI LAMA ON DVD MAR 78-107.indd 87 MAR 78-107.indd 87 12/19/07 2:43:29 PM 12/19/07 2:43:29 PM