I discovered something about myself today. Something that both surprised and upset me. Something that I don't like. It seems that if I take a really close look at myself, I find that I'm not a very nice person. I'm really not!
As you know, I took over the custody and responsibility of two young kittens. That means I am supposed to take care of them and tend to their needs. I'm supposed to guide them in doing things considered acceptable , and train them not to do certain things. I'm responsible for showing them affection and for allowing them to show affection back to me in return. By the same token, I should learn to be responsive to the signs that all is not going well for them.
A series of events occurred today that forced me to take a long, hard look at my attitude and my nature. First, a child came with her mother to visit at my Mom's house. The little girl wanted to see and play with the kittens, so I was asked to bring them over and let them play. No big deal, right? What could be more natural than children and small animals together? Who would deprive the child or the animals, babies themselves, of a chance to share a bit of joy? What kind of person...?
I was upset at being disturbed and having my all important , self centered activity interrupted but I took the kittens over and I left them with the child to play. I barely spoke to the child or her mother who tried to be friendly. I wanted them to see what a sacrifice I was making in stopping my very important activity, what ever it was, to take 5 minutes to interact with them on a purely human level. I didn't know it at the time, but I was already feeling the sadness inside from those actions.
The rest of the afternoon I was in a foul mood and lost sight of the small things that I would normally find some joy in. Everything became a chore, a distraction. I still had not totally realized why this was, why the dark cloud started hanging over my head and penetrating my thoughts. The light finally started to come to me from a simple act by another! My Mother.
I had gone to my Mother's house to get something I had left there, and she was all excited about something which I take for granted every day. She had gone on the Internet, looked something up on Google that she was interested in, and printed it out...all by herself! To her, a spry lady of 82, this was a reason to be happy! An accomplishment of an act proving to herself that even though she didn't understand how something worked she could use and enjoy it. This gave her a true sense of pride, to attempt to use the computer without having someone standing over her shoulder , and to actually do what she set out to do successfully!
When she was telling me how she did this great feat, I was struck by the fact that I had let my ego get in the way of so many things during the day! Her new found pride in being able to do it on her own, to smile at gaining and using new knowledge and the fact that she wanted to share this all with me made me feel pretty small.
Why didn't I see the joy and happiness on the face of the child when allowed to play and visit with the kittens? Why didn't I notice how hard my Mother was trying to master a totally foreign and new technology to accomplish something on her own? How did I become so hardened to the feelings of others that I couldn't or wouldn't allow myself to share in and be part of the little bit of happiness they wanted to share?
That's not like me...or is it? Is this what I've become? Am I so Egotistical that I have truly lost touch with the joy of others? Am I so caught up in my own little world that I refuse to allow my human side to feel the emotions of others, good or bad? I hope not!
Just having an off day? That's no excuse for not being civil to others. Just tired? No excuse for not listening when someone is reaching out to you on a personal level! Too busy? No excuse for not behaving like a caring member of the human tribe to which we all belong!
So I've decided that I need to go back to school. I need to relearn some basic skills I seem to have forgotten along the way. I need to get rid of some bad habits and traits I've picked up somewhere along my present course. I need to try and get back to the person I once was that could show interest in others, treat others with courtesy and respect, see the humor in life and revel in it, and share with others the good along with the bad! I need, in other words, to lose my EGO!
I'll start work on getting back to the old me right away! This is too important a task to be put off. Only by giving of myself can I expect to become more than I am now. Only by the act of sharing can I expect to receive. Only by learning to like others again can I ever learn to like myself!
Only by admitting when we are wrong do we start being right! Wouldn't you agree?
C'mon, Friend, let's get some fresh coffee!