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Friday, May 27, 2011

Dalai Lama's Nephew Killed by Karma


On February 15th 2011, this year, Jigme K. Norbu the nephew of Tibet's Dalai Lama was runnin  the last leg of yet another "Walk for Tibet" effort, one of many he had undertaken in his short life, in his personal method and mission, namely to raise awareness for the plight of his fellow Tibetans, who have been under relatively harsh and oppressive rule by China, since 1951.

Norbu was running south on highway A1A, about a quarter mile from the Hammock Wine and Cheese Shoppe, owned by Gary and Damian Collins, who stopped to offer encouragement, as well as a place at their store for Norbu to rest, wash up, have a bite to eat, and spend the night. Gary took this picture of Norbu with Damian.


Highway A1A is a single lane straight road that is divided by the usual standard yellow dashed line. There isn't a curve in it for miles and Norbu was running with traffic with a big white sign that covered his chest and back that read "Walk for Tibet Florida". Norbu was struck by an SUV that was driven by 31-year-old Keith R. O'Dell of Palm Coast Florida who was with his 5-year-old son, and who apparently tried to swerve but couldn't avoid running right into Norbu.


On a straight road. With no one else in sight. Not a single car, not another pedestrian, an SUV in Florida, ran smack into the only guy on a single lane road, running on the white line, with a big white sign on his back.

The poetry in this seemingly senseless tragedy, is what I have been thinking about since February.

Of all the places that the plight of Tibet, their 60 year-long struggle for re-independence, the seemingly magical character and real glow of the Dalai Lama, the very construct of Buddhism, and the concept of a reincarnate king chosen by miracle as a child, the single place on the planet that all of this, could be probably the least concern, I would venture a guess that probably Florida would be near the top of that list.

Florida is arguably one of the capitals of redneckdom in the US, and the prophetic detail of a young dad, riding with his young son, in an SUV, around dusk, on a lonely straight road in Florida, would not have the slightest warning and would unknowingly run right into the back end of a person whose entire life purpose and mission had been dedicated to running, in order to raise awareness about the least thing that a redneck in Florida would think about, Tibet, struck me as more than mere dumb and thoughtless chance.

It seems that out of all the places that would never care about Tibet, the one place Norbu was most likely to become an example of the very Karma that his uncle has preached his entire life, would have had to be in Florida.

Florida and the circumstances of the innocent accidental death of Norbu, are in fact proof of Karma, or the simple idea that everything that happens to you, you deserve.

In this case, Norbu, running for the unknown cause of Tibet, on a lone stretch of highway in South Florida, and a father possibly distracted momentarily by the antics of his 5-year old, losing control of a stereotypically unnecessary SUV, were brought together in one colossal, impossibly improbable collision of more than just a car hitting a pedestrian.

This was a cosmic accident merely waiting to happen.

Of all the places that Norbu could have died, South Florida was the place he needed to die, in order for the people least likely to know about Tibet or care, to learn about and fully understand the plight of Tibet.

Of all the people that Keith R. O'Dell could have killed with his SUV, it is highly likely from the details we have, that he had to kill Norbu, simply in order to awaken an awareness about Tibet, in an average South Floridian redneck.

And for Norbu personally, to have tempted his own fate by continuing to run into the twilight, after refusing to heed the concerns over the fading daylight, nevermind the kind offer by Gary and Damian Collins that he should stop, hop in and get a lift to their place for the night, proof of karma.

1 comment:

  1. Tragic. Always be mindful of tempting fate in a world of where "stuff happens".

    One could only hope that this loss will bring about change in Tibet and Florida.

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