Every now and then my dad likes to share tidbits of wisdom from the reflective, vulnerable, and critical-thinking side of life that my mind tends to walk along well on its own and even if my exterior doesn’t show it, the gems are always appreciated and well-received.
The procrastinator in me waited until literally the final hour of the day to get all of my stuff out of my apartment on my lease’s last day. In somewhat of a low-key frenzy I called on my dad to come through in the final stretch to come and help me move some boxes.
My dad avoided the awkward silence with a short-but-sweet gem about an old friend who randomly reached out to him after decades of disconnect. The last time they had seen each other, he noted, was when he got stiffed with a fine for spitefully spray-painting the walls on their move-out day. However, the most recent encounter was vastly different: the man was reaching out to inform him that he had cancer. Instead of holding a thirty-something year-old grudge, my dad decided to make peace with mistakes from his adolescence by showing up to keep the man company during his first round of chemotherapy. What good would it have done if my dad chose to ignore his old friend’s call and let him suffer on his own? It would have only reduced the character of my dad, a man who has clearly taken the time to garner a closeness with his inner voice, his moral code, his conscience. Holding a grudge does more harm to the person holding it than it provides a lesson for the person on the receiving end.
Every now and then my dad likes to share tidbits of wisdom from the reflective, vulnerable, and critical-thinking side of life that my mind tends to walk along well on its own and even if my exterior doesn’t show it, the gems are always appreciated and well-received. He went on to conclude the quick story with one word that has been at the forefront of many of my thoughts this week:
While it is not up to us to decide, we get what we deserve later in life when we are least expecting it — sort of like when you drive through a fading yellow light that turns to red and look around real quickly to see if anyone else noticed or if the cops were around. If they weren’t you feel as if you got off the hook and that voice in your head says to God, good lookin’ out, I appreciate you for that.
I am a firm believer in karma in that all actions that you make, good or bad, will come back to visit your life whenever our creator wants them to. You get paid back for everything you do while spending time on this earth.
As a self-proclaimed multifaceted, ever-evolving, yet flawed human being who has shed old skin and turned over enough new leaves to cover an entire acre of grass, I have made it a habit to think back on my reactions to specific events and I think to myself:
Did I handle that how I was supposed to?
Could I have handled that better?
And a lot of times — if I am being honest here — the answer is no. I have done some bad things to some good people. I am not perfect, nor will I ever be. None of us are, but in admitting our past faults we have a chance to self-redeem. God grants us favor every single minute of the day; we must ensure that we are living our best life by practicing constant mindfulness. Keep your conscience clear by maintaining a close relationship with that inner voice and being fully attentive to it every time you think you are doing something ‘good’ or ‘bad’ because chances are, it is telling the truth.
photos by @thebenchmarc
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