Saturday, May 14, 2011
To A Friend
There is an ancient saying, which I believe originated in Taoism. Roughly translated, it means focus on today, because the past is filled with regrets and the future dilutes the present. Easier said than done.
I recently inadvertently hurt someone I care about deeply. The circumstances are irrelevant, but suffice it to say I said something I should not have said. I usually have control over my words. In any event, my lapse of judgment conflicts with my habitual tendency to tell the truth from my perspective. Most people feel comfortable with me, because they know exactly where I stand on things. The down side is that whenever I utter something that is incorrect or not from the heart, people tend to think it is intentional, instead of simply human frailty. Human beings can be jerks, and I fall into both categories.
Living in the present is my thing. The future will take care of itself. However, I do find it hard to erase the past, if my actions hurt someone other than me.
One time, about ten years ago, I overheard a co-worker speaking to her friend at the college where I was teaching. Her friend said, “Why don’t you ask JJ? Get his opinion.” The co-worker replied, “No way. He’ll probably tell me the truth.” Well, that’s not such a bad reputation to live with, but not everything that passes my lips is profound, or even intentional. Sometimes, for a myriad of reasons, I am simply a jerk.
I humbly apologize, my friend.