Sunday, August 16, 2009

Opportunities for personal growth

Yuck. I learned something tonight that is merely a confirmation of things I'd long suspected. Here are some of the existential questions that formed immediately in my head.

Do we actually "deserve" anything? Is it true, for example, that a person can actually "deserve better than ______"? I'm beginning to think that no one "deserves" anything. Respect for each other as humans may be sort of the last remaining arguable point. Weird.

How does one focus when one instead would like to behave with shocking anger toward certain persons? I'm becoming accustomed to the feeling of having my outer layers peeled off, tired of it as I may be, so I'm sure I'll be fine, but really -- what is the process of focusing oneself while under duress?

And how about lying to cover something up, whether by omission or commission? Is a lie really worse than the actual thing? For me it totally is, for too many reasons to go into. In fact, it's all about the lie. Yes indeed it is. Does a person being scared of the consequences if they do not lie mitigate it at all? Usually. I think in this case it would have.

How about ego? Does the fact that things reflect on us steer us toward a less reasonable response? Yes. It does for me. Perhaps this is why I would cut oodles of slack for someone who was afraid of excoriation if the truth emerged -- I don't like being made a fool of and it horrifies me to think I may have at any time, under any circumstances, contributed to someone else feeling that, so compassion seems in order when thinking about forgiveness, be it for lying or whatever.

Is it true that people can repair literally any relationship thing, so long as they choose to? I think it is true. I used to believe this without a flicker of doubt anywhere on the horizon. Speaking for myself, I'd say that part of my ability to do so would depend on the amount of kindness any other person(s) involved were willing to extend. Hostile folk are not fun to work with and tend to be impossible to please. They're often caught up in justifying something. If you're busy justifying something, humility and dedication don't really have a place in the process.

It's times like this that I fantasize about having the kids grown and settled, successfully educated, happy, gainfully employed. In this fantasy I have a current passport, a kick butt backpack, and a nice toothbrush. Maybe a good camera. Khakis and boots? Yes. And good snorkel gear, a water purification system, maybe a satellite phone -- in case of grandchildren. I think that will cover it. I'll grow my hair to my ankles or shave my head -- for ease of travel. I'll have a cheap retirement. Far, far, far away -- maybe riding freighters around French Polynesia. Hey -- maybe by then space travel will be an option. I can go along and clean bathrooms to pay my fare!

It's always good to have a back-up plan.

No comments: