When, at the funeral home, I reached out to say goodbye, I noticed the watch he was wearing was right on time. I don’t know what that means in a timeless world, but he was more interested in who you were… in the here and now.
His outrage was explosive! Publicly chastised, his eyes glared with resentment. And, there I stood – guilty of poking the eye of the tiger with a (judgement) stick.
The world around us looks like the real world, but it’s full of illusions and myths – such as Santa Claus or the tooth fairy. For example, the myth that buying things will lead to happier lives.
As I drove on, pressed against time, I was already preparing my defense. In my head, I saw myself in a TV courtroom pleading my own case like a seasoned lawyer, “Members of the jury, here stands an innocent man!” It didn’t work.
Finally, “just do it”; but, don’t expect a reward, recognition or even a “thank you”. It’s a funny thing about human nature in resenting help: perceived charity is hard to swallow. Sometimes you stand alone – it’s okay.
Thanking me, she picked up her valuables and left – leaving me with the feeling that I was the one out of touch.
As the late cultural chef, Anthony Bourdain, advised, “Don’t be afraid of random acts of hospitality… be open, without judgement or fear. Walk in their shoes, or at least eat their food. It’s a plus for everybody.”
Images of people here say it all: the walking of pets – with water bowls set out like sparkling diamonds in the sun, the smiling faces over cups of coffee, the joggers and bicyclists breezing on through, moms and dads walking strollers… a positive vibe … a more peaceful, inclusive, welcoming world.
I asked him what it feels like to be “world-class.” But, I could tell he was uncomfortable with comparisons.
You’d think – since we’re older every day – with age comes wisdom. Sadly, this isn’t always true. Yet, we can often learn from each other’s experiences. So, let me be the bad example: I learn the hard way.