Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Wednesday's Words for October 1, 2008

The older I get, the more there is in life that I simply don’t understand. If I were to categorize these things into groups of the lowest common denominator, then I would have to say the thing I don’t understand the most is families.

I’ve been fairly blessed in my family. Yes, I lost both my parents way too soon, and I lost a son; but I’ve never had to endure a family feud, nor have I ever encountered someone in my family so mean-spirited that they take joy in making the lives of other people miserable.

From what I’ve observed over the last many years, that makes me a very lucky woman.
My basic philosophy of life is pretty simple, really. Do what you can to be kind to others, help when asked, and try to adhere to the practice of the giving of increase. All in all, this isn’t a difficult philosophy to understand, nor to practice; it doesn’t take a lot of time, or very much money. And yet the rewards are greater than at times can be measured.

The greatest return is the sense of peace and contentment that fills me.

So if you want to look at it a certain way, it can be said that I am behaving in a most selfish manner, as my habits allow me to reap these fantastic rewards all for myself.

That’s not to say that I don’t have my moments. I surely do. I can scream and stomp my foot as well as anyone. Despite my determination to live my life by a certain creed, I get in really filthy bad moods sometimes, and if you ever saw me on one of those days, you might be tempted to nominate me for ‘Bitch of the Year’. Hormones and body chemicals dictate that sometimes, you just cannot positive-talk yourself out of these personality storms; you just have to weather them.

I so hate the way it feels inside when I get into one of these moods, I can’t fathom being bitchy like that on purpose just to be mean to others. Yet some people seem to do just that.

I’ve known of people who purposefully plan some nasty trick or public insult just so they can ‘score one’ on someone else. I’ve seen grown men and women treat their children like a strategic weapon to be used against each other. I’ve seen a woman manipulate the children of her sister in order to try and break up that sister’s marriage—and she nearly succeeded. I’ve heard of mean little people doing mean little things to those they profess to love.

I know I’m naïve. I generally expect people to treat me—and each other—the same way I treat them. I’m always surprised when they don’t. And I’m totally shocked when, on occasion, my motives have been questioned—usually by someone whose own motives are suspect.

There have been some people who have, over the years, done things to anger or hurt me; people in whom I placed my trust who then abused that trust. And yes, it hurts, every time. But I just don’t see the point in trying to “get back” at someone.

Getting back at someone who “done me wrong” would in fact hurt me more than it would them. Revenge really is a double edged sword. What I don’t understand is why people don’t get that.

I don’t understand why some of these people pursue a course of payback that doesn’t really give them anything at all. But I have noticed that these people are relatively easy to spot. They are the ones with miserable, sour expressions on their faces all the time.

I know there isn’t likely anything I can say that will sway anyone from being a vindictive, self-serving, self-important jerk, if that is how they are determined to be. My words just don’t carry that much weight. And since my essays are only my opinion any way, maybe I have it all wrong. Maybe there is a giant score card somewhere being maintained for each of us, and the true measure of success will be the number of ‘gotchas’ a person can deliver in his or her life time.

But in my heart, I don’t think so. In a world with a population in the billions, it seems a damn shame for anyone to spend energy and resources attacking those few people who, if given even a modicum of encouragement, would stand with them against the furies of hell.

That’s what families are supposed to do. In my little world, at any rate.



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