Most of you probably know the story of the Buddha, when he left the castle and his princely upbringing for the first time, and was confronted with the harsh reality of the real world.

First he saw an old man, then a sick man, and then a corpse.

He asked his charioteer, “Who are these people, why did this happen to them, what did they do to deserve this fate?”

Each time, his driver shook his head and looked at him like he was new, “Dude, this happens to everybody.”

The story glosses over another event. He saw two people, talking to each other, nervous and twitching, their eyes darting around.

The Buddha asked, “What is going on over there?”

“Oh, that’s an awkward social interaction?”

“Who does that happen to?”

“Everyone, brother. There is no promise in this world that you’re going to avoid things getting awkward from time to time. Awkward is going to happen.”

So, there you go. old age, sickness, death, ubiquitous awkward social interactions. Now you know. Take it easy on yourself, folks.

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Buddha image by Mark Henson