It is J. K. Rowling who said, ” it’s our choices not our abilities, that show who we really are”
If this is true, then anyone is capable of doing something spectacular, something extraordinary, something special. We can all be magnanimous and virtuous, if we want to be. That is important because learning this means we have no reason to boast, for discriminating, for separating or elevating ourselves, for denigrating others – as we are all able to accomplish and to undertake the same tasks.
Young and old, slave or free, black, white or in-between, male or female, rich or poor, wise or foolish- it makes sense, because the force behind all these acts is Grace- and this is given freely and evenly to us all….. We just have to reach out and take it… What a gift🎀🎀🎀🎀🎀
Well knowing this led me to made a resolve some time ago, to do something good for someone each day, and if I fail to do that, then I must at least do one thing right. How am I doing in this regard? Some days I am consciously doing good and right- other days I don’t even remember and then some other days I am raw and human and in need of forgiveness.
Paul, of all persons, did say….. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil that I do not want to do, that I practice….. Read Romans 7 v 19-21
So the other day I went to Safeway, to buy dinner. My food was packaged and priced and as I went to pay, it occurred to me that dinner was indeed reasonable, right then and there I realized that one of the items was not cashed. I said nothing to the cashier, I paid and left. Upon reaching the exit however I was stopped dead in my tracks by this thought, “how much better or worse off can $5 make me?”
I turned around, found my cashier and paid for my food. I have no way of knowing what would have happened to him, or how I would have felt if I didn’t return to pay, but what I can say is I loved myself a little more for returning. That’s the thing with a choice, you can’t undo it to find out what the alternative would have been like.
So I was on the train- heading home from an evening stroll………….and in the rush to switch trains a young lad traipse out of my carriage without his phone. Now you know how our phones are to us these days, to lose it is to maim oneself- like losing a limb…….and it’s not because they are not cheap. Suffice to say, they are gold in the eyes of the wrong person- ever wonder when they will be smart enough- to not get lost. Now all that aside, I wasn’t the only one who noticed his mishap. The phone however was directly in front of my seat and I was alone on that space.
“What to do”, I thought. “If I take it up will they think I am stealing the phone?” I am acutely aware of some facts.
“But how could I just pretend I don’t see it and allow someone else to pick it up?” Poor lad, he must be bellyaching for his phone, as I know it’s not long before you miss a limb.
” I certainly would want someone to rescue my phone” , I thought.
So bravely, I took the phone up, and immediately the ‘black’ faces focused on me- I looked straight ahead.
” Is there a lost and found?” I asked of the same penetrating eyes after a few minutes- or maybe “I will give the train driver” I thought…….”Can I even get into this fortress so I can get a contact for the owner” … I wondered.
My thoughts were then interrupted by the vibrating phone- I didn’t answer…. A second ring – this time is answered. ” do you have my phone? ” he sounded anxious, relieved, scared and ungrateful all at once. ” yes” I said-” but you will have to meet me at my bus stop” I replied. “No problem” he said- “I am on my way”
Long story short- when he was almost at my stop he called back…
“Where are you”, I asked. “Am going to miss my bus”
” I give you $40 to miss your bus ” he responded. “Okay” I said.
$40, I started thinking of all the things I could do with that…. Treat myself to dinner, shoes perhaps… Give my roomie $20 – “that would make taking it a little more palatable” I thought. My good deed is indeed paying off, but then I said “no sah, what if that were me.” Would I want to pay? Could I afford to pay? Is it right to profit from doing something good/kind? No I decided – I won’t take his money- or at least all of it- maybe just $20.
“$20″ I said- surely he will be happy for that-” that’s reasonable”, this trajectory continued and then the next thing I knew- he was standing right there in front of me . “Okay- thank you so so much- in true deferential style -I will have to go to the banking machine” he says- “you’ll have to follow me?”
” It’s okay”, I replied- “no need to pay” and I walked away with him standing in awe……. Now, I don’t know why I changed my mind- if it’s the long walk to the ATM, the look on his face, the shoes on his feet, or if it’s just good sense prevailing…… But am happy I didn’t take his $40, or $20.
Should I tell her? I was sitting and she was pacing, it was the first day of school and of course everyone was new. I looked around- no one else seemed to notice or at least if they did, they acted as if it were nothing or as if they didn’t care. I looked again- just to make sure I was seeing correctly. Yes I was – outline, colour, pattern it was there for all to see. ” A whole day at school” I thought….. Wonder how far away she lives? Did no one see before she left home? Or is this normal, some new fad I am unaware of? Now where I come from, or at least what I was taught is that underwear are just that- clothes worn underneath and thus it should be hidden from plain sight. I was in a quandary…… Then I looked at the clock on the wall, 10 mins for my bus- I had no idea which bus she was waiting on. “Does she understand English?” I pondered. I will leave her alone – I said, but I couldn’t….
So I mustered some courage and touched her. She spun around.. ” your underwear is showing” I said-” what?”she retorted but not in a hostile way. I repeated myself. ” I don’t understand you” she replied…….
Okay- I backed off. I am still wondering if that was a genuine comment, or a diplomatic way of telling me to mind my own business……Either way- I learnt some valuable lessons.
I was very generous with giving a ride back home when I had my car…….. And it always turned out well, except on those occasions when I wanted to chat on my phone or just have some solitude, which was more often than not. To be honest, I couldn’t pass someone I knew on the street, can’t have my cake and eat it -So I chose to delay gratification- happily and sadly too.
I am sure there are many other examples that so many of us can relay, of the times when we choose to do right- with good or bad intentions. The thing is, it is the action that humans judge, and to be fair to man- that’s all he really sees. Good thing God is not like man.
I love to people watch, no am not a voyeur neither do I live vicariously- there is a difference (lol). Anyhow, I was sitting and waiting in the bus station the other day-minding my business (wink, wink) when I saw an Asian mother daughter (I am assuming) spectacle unfold. Both stormed in and took a seat directly opposite to me, right in my line of sight. See I told you I was minding my business. The mother was peeved…I know this from the facial expression, body language and the intense and fierce speech leaving her mouth- mind you I did not understand a word she spoke. The girl(a teenager I surmised) was on her phone (of course) and not paying her much attention (mind you) with her ‘ten cut’. Mother had her outburst of anger ever couple seconds. Now if they were not in my line of sight (wink wink) I would have thought she was rattling on to herself, as the girl was almost oblivious to her obvious rage.
Things took a turn, when girl (daughter) finally decided to say something, before pushing an open palm before the mom’s face. Mom’s voice took on a few extra decibels and she grabbed her purse, securely under her arm. Girl, finally got mad said something picked herself up and went flying through the door, mom went on and on without missing a beat or taking a step. Girl, did not look back or return she kept walking farther and farther away. Mom was secretly watching her every move, until…..she was out of sight. Mom took her phone and placed two calls….. no answer. That was enough- Mom went flying through the door… guess who followed?
Anyhow, by now she was running and walking, still trying to get some response from her via phone. Nothing……. Mom started running and calling….. daughter by now had totally disappeared…. Mom was in a frenzy….Such a pity I had to get to church or I could tell you how that story ended. But it left me wondering about raising a child; balancing discipline with love and entitlement with responsibility. We have a way of ‘ righting’ wrong and ‘wronging’ right. I am no parent- so I reserve judgement. But exactly, how should this mom have responded? What had happened before? Was the mom right/ wrong? Was the daughter wrong/right? Is it harder to raise kids in a world of abundance? Who won?
I need a parent to explain this one to me.