Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Running Commentary

Walking down these hallowed halls today, I crossed the path of an old nemesis. What did she do to win this distinction? Well, let's just say that a transgression occurred while I was pregnant with the twins - and it was during one of those 'really bad news' moments when you are most likely to jump off a bridge - and this woman went out of her way to be unkind and cold to me. Not a shred of human pity or decency when it was so obviously, desperately called for.

I will never forget it as long as I live.

So, naturally, when I saw her again, I waved and cheerily said, "Hi, it's been a long time! You're looking great!"

What I was thinking was, "Get thee behind me, Satan!" I am not even kidding. I even laughed out loud after she walked away at how easily the unbidden words sprang forth in my mind.

You see, I am a person who is deeply touched by kindness. I see two strangers helping each other across the icy sidewalk and I feel alive. A small child hugging another crying child brings tears to my eyes. I am always noticing small actions of beauty, and try to use them to define my view of this often jaded world. But at the same time, I abhor indifference. Unkindness, when a kindness would have required just as much, or even less effort, is a truly hateful thing to me.

I will never understand how one can see an injured bird on the sidewalk in the dead of winter and not try to do something. Anything.

I will never understand how one can be asked for help, though the cost be nothing at all to them, and shrug.

I will never understand one who chooses principal over imminent, tangible, human need.

And yet, I have had the dubious honour of seeing all of this. But in a way, perhaps seeing people on their worst, most insensitive, most selfish behaviour has been a blessing to me and to all that I am and have yet to become.

For you must know that there is something to be learned from everyone that you meet, even if it's simply what not to be like.


At 2:44 PM , Blogger bornfool said...

Everyone sets an example, just sometimes it's a bad example.

At 6:30 PM , Blogger Abandoned in Pasadena said...

Some people just think about what's in it for them or what are they going to get out of it, if they do something nice for someone else. And some people are just plain insensitive jerks.

You seem to be a very nice caring person, with an exceptionally funny side. I like the way you look at things.

At 7:28 PM , Blogger Kimberly said...

My Dearest Franny,

Well written, well said, and well done. I'm proud of you. Faced with someone who once was the bane of your existence, you rose to the occasion, was the better person. You inspire me. Thank you for your reminders of what we humans should be. You make me want to be a better person.


At 7:47 PM , Blogger Motherkitty said...

If you have seen "You've Got Mail" you might remember the scene where Meg Ryan is sitting in Cafe LaLa and in walks her nemesis Tom Hanks (Joe Fox). She proceeds to scald him with all the venom she has built up inside her. Her terrible words wounded him and he quickly leaves. Did it make her feel better that she was finally able to say those things that were pent up inside her? No, she ended up feeling revolted and forever sorry she said those things to him. (This was before she fell in love with him.)

You apparently are a kinder, more intelligent person to smile and say kind words than to say horrible things to your enemy and end up feeling revolted and forever sorry you said those words of hate and meanness. You may always hate this person, but you realize that hate is like acid eating away at your soul. Not really worth it no matter what they did.

At 12:39 PM , Blogger Magdalena said...

Such beauty! In your words, in your heart. Both inside and out! That's why we love you and cherish your friendship.

At 12:45 PM , Blogger Christopher said...

Yeah, the best revenge is living well. People who are that insensitive and selfish are probably leading flat, unfulfilling lives, and their bitterness / callousness toward others is probably the end result. These people are NOT "living well", so take comfort in the fact that you ARE.


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