The blessing is in the doing–not the speaking. There are plenty of folks, however, who unknowingly trade in their blessings for recognition. That perfect attendance certificate at the end of the year (or the good Sumaritan award for being at the right place at the right time) merely affirms the good character that always existed. But if there were no affirmations or if their was no reward at the end of a long journey, would we still perform the task?
The pillars of character that we exploit in elementary school is a last ditch effort to convince bad kids that they should be good “even when no one is watching…” Educators and disciplinarians, counselors and social workers struggle to instill a conscience that was formed long before the student was enrolled in school.
Mankind is not inately evil, but the premise of predestined fate sort of eludes effort. Put another way, everyone has a responsibility to create their own outcomes. But if we could peek to the end of the story, we would.
I have a resume that highlights a lot of my experience. I interview well for new opportunities, drawing from a pool of accomplishments and achievements. But I don’t speak of my good deeds. Nor do I discuss the failures that brought me to be the person who I am today.
My misdeeds are well noted in heaven (and in other places too, I’m sure). My failures are learning experiences. They drive me. But I reflect. I’ll entertain my audience with comical prose as I delighted myself in my whimsical ironies.
Have you ever heard of the Business Sisters? Nun-Ya and Mine-Ya? They’re all in your business but they’re not in mine.
Despite the fact that my stories are told countless times to an ever-critical audience, the real important stories can’t find their way out of my heart. I keep them close. They’re not fit for social consumption. Those are the real stories that have formed the man I am today.
More than any anecdote, my most intimate stories will never be shared. They are not glorious. They are not revelations of truth. They won’t be fodder for a blog or the anthology. They are the ANTI-truth. These are the stories that should die with me. They are the bricks–walls that counselors can’t break; walls that lovers can’t climb; walls that not even the bestest friend can stomach.
And yet those experiences at the heart of the untold story are formidable. No one is only a product of their environment. Merely a backdrop for the untold narrative, environment changes far more frequently than our hearts.
Heredity and experiences have the meaningful impact on our journey. The internal struggles fuel the external conflicts. Atleast it’s the case for ME. And the story is Nunya Business. 🙃
I’m shedding my skin and I’ve convinced myself that I’ve got to get these stories off my mind before I loose my mind. It’s hard to choose between the red pill and the blue pill when your belief system gets rocked. I’m clinging to an old rugged cross that is surrounded by serpents.
Now these serpents are merely garter snakes under my feet. But they are annoying. They have names like Guilt, Polygamy, Arrogance, Doubt, and Ignorance. They romance me and pressure me to have a little fun. Like any persistent peer, they are committed enough to light the flame. But they flee in the face of adversity.
They’re not demons. I don’t even want to entertain the notion. Instead let’s identify these serpents as friends, family, colleagues, and employers. Why? Because these are the people with whom we spend the most time and who demand the most of our energy.
No stranger would make such demands or be so critical. Nor would we be so inclined. I’ve searched for new friends! I may have found a few. They too insist that I give of myself. But I’m not alone. They are right there with me. Pushing me. Pulling me! Cheering me on (and supporting me when I grow weak). They are my partners: Innocence, Chastity, Humility, Confidence, and Clairvoyance. They are not always close by.
Sure enough when they work together, their shade-throwing cousin Hypocracy is always hiding in the shadows. Decency usually arrives late to stomp the life out of my foes.
This is surely a story that can be told, but an invitation to wind up is really a sign that it’s time to wind down.
Long story short
The man said, “thank you.” He owed me nothing. As a matter of fact, he didn’t even know me. But his gratitude was from the heart–not just good manners. I was humbled to be asked to help. My response: “no problem, Brother!”