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Turning Over New Leaf

Saturday, May 14, 2011

To A Friend

yin-yang

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.

16 comments:

  1. Well I kind of find the word jerk being connected to you, hard to believe... okay true I really only know you by your words here in this world of blogging, but sometimes it's not always what we say as what is happening with the receiver at the moment...that's not to say you weren't...well I really don't like the word a jerk, but maybe you did say something that was hurtful, but we are only human and reaction and our attitude to how things are received are afterall are owned by ourselves ....but to accept the moments we have wronged and by offering your kind words to help ease the pain...is everything! I hope whoever it was reads your post, and I wish them the best too!

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  2. Karen: Thanks. I am pretty much in person as I am online.

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  3. I can't imagine u hurting someone's feelings.. You have a way of being diplomatic on your posts.. Could it be that the person u hurt is overly sensitive? Maybe they have a problem w/the truth? As far as what that person said about you 'telling the truth', that says it right there.. Why did they need to not hear the truth? There is a way to be tactful and if that person knows the one telling the truth, then they would know it came from a place of kindness and good... Why be fooled by untruths? what is the point?

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  4. KBF: Thank you for your kind words. That is usually my gameplan, but this time, I am afraid I faltered.

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  5. Words can fail us. Sometimes the written can fail us entirely. So easy to misinterpret something on here. We can mean something one way and someone can take it another. And then there are people who are simply not ready or equipped for the whole truth,and nothing but. Sometimes the truth hurts, as in really hurts. And the person uttering may not know quite how deep it cuts. The bottom line is that no one is perfect and all you can do is apologize. I think you did that. A sincere apology is the best we ever have.

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  6. Who among us has not said something we wish we could take back? A sincere apology can go a long way towards mending fences.

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  7. Well I just want to say Thank You. Someone hurt my feelings at Bunco last Wednesday and I was really down on myself these past few days thinking what is it about me that is so deserving of this kind of verbal demeaning?

    Hey it's nice to reconfirm that we are all just plain human...not Gods...not perfect.

    All one can do if need be is apologize and let it roll of your back like water on a duck. We need to keep moving forward in life and we can only hope they will move forward with us.~Ames

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  8. My friends: What you have said is indeed the bottom line. It is not my first mistake, and I usually keep them to myself. However, every once in a while, it does a man good to express humility. Thanks.

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  9. Visiting from 6WS but couldn't resist commenting on this post.

    I think we all experience moments of being a 'jerk' - it reminds us that we're human. Judging by the comments from people who know you - you're good moments far outweigh the jerk moments.

    Being true to yourself and saying it as it is, is most definitely an admirable quality.

    So from one jerk to another - shit happens and sometimes we get it wrong.

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  10. And I thought the word had gone out of style. Some of my best friends are jerks. I think I can remember every jerk-remark I ever made. But of course, that's unlikely. There have been way too many.

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  11. Fi: Thanks for stopping by. I agree.

    Bruce: The word lives. I am proof.

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  12. This reminds me of a useful phrase when someone has behaved badly. "There goes a child of God (enlightened being, bodhisattva, choose your word), cleverly disguised as a jerk (to use your word)." We've all worn our clever disguises, some of us more often than we care to remember.

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  13. Galen: Yes, I actually have had a few disguises. However, they all hid humility.

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  14. HI JJ, I hate it when I say something without thinking, then end up hurting someone. Everyone does it sometimes, as you say-it's part of being human. I'm sure your frined will understand soon :), Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

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  15. A nice helping of humble pie never hurt any of us. But like so many healthy things, we may not love the way it tastes...
    You seem like a stand-up guy to me. And I wasn't so sure I got you at first either.

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  16. Miriam: I focus so much on not hurting people, but like you say, it's a human thing.

    'Yellow Rose' Jasmine: Thank you very much. I try really hard to be a stand-up guy. I am not seeing that too often these days in our society.

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