“Instant Karma’s gonna get you
Gonna knock you off your feet
Better recognize your brothers
Ev’ryone you meet”
Instant Karma (John Lennon)
Enjoying a morning coffee at our local farmer’s market, an elderly woman came and sat next to me. Her bags were filled to overflowing with carefully selected produce: meats, cheeses, breads, eggs… a morning’s worth of effort. Suddenly, getting up, she asks me to look after her bags: saying she had a couple of items to add. I said, “Sure!”
After a while, the thought occurred to me: “Isn’t that something?” She basically left the fruits of her labour to a complete stranger. Despite the prevailing norm today – not to trust anyone – this lady seemed completely at ease doing so.
When she came back, I shared with her my thoughts. I was thinking – with her advanced age – perhaps she wasn’t up-to-date on how different things are today. She seemed nonplussed about my concerns. Thanking me, she picked up her valuables and left – leaving me with the feeling that I was the one out of touch. “Loving people live in a loving world. Hostile people live in a hostile world. Same world.” ~ Psychologist, Wayne Dyer
It reminded me of an ancient native story, told by a Cherokee elder to his grandson: about the battle between the two wolves inside us. The one is vicious (negative/ bad); the other is loving (friendly/good). The grandchild thought about it then asked, “Which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee replied, “The one you feed.”
I asked a minister – who became a professional football player – how he dealt with people who seldom consider other’s feelings? He explained: the “minister” within would say, “That’s okay; I’m going to love you anyway.” However, the “football player” within would say, “better to give than receive”… dishing it right back.
Of course, trust must be earned.
My dad had a unique way of determining a person’s true character. He would often lend money, with terms; but, with no real expectations of getting it back. If he did, all was well and good. Either way, he figured that he’d learned a valuable lesson for future relations. So, regardless of race, colour or religion, he let others decide how they’d be. He was okay either way. To quote Wayne Dyer again, “How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.”
“Why in the world are we here
Surely not to live in pain and fear
Why on earth are you there
When you’re ev’rywhere
Come and get your share”
Instant Karma (John Lennon)
Lately, I’ve been thinking about what that older lady was trying to show me: you have to have some trust in humanity. How else would we have love, kindness and empathy to pass on – brothers and sisters, all? We’re not asked to wear rose-coloured glasses. And, some folks aren’t yet reality-ready. But, we’re all just temporary caretakers… passing through life. As for offering up forgiveness – the ultimate expression of love – don’t count my many missed opportunities… please!
Photo courtesy of Fred Parry
Guest Author Bio
Fred Parry lives in Southern Ontario. He is a lover of people and a collector of stories, music, wisdom, and grandchildren. His newspaper column, Music in Me, can be found in ‘The New Hamburg Independent’ Metroland Media. His book, ‘The Music In Me’ (2013) Friesen Press is Available from Amazon and Indigo / Chapters.
Blog / Website: www.fredparry.ca