Conundrums

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September 12, 2022- I sensed it would be a strange day, when I was reminded of a promise I made, to help a fellow veteran who another person thought was in dire need of assistance. I called one number, for a woman who knows the gentleman, and was in turn given his number. I reached an answering machine, left a message for him, and did not hear back. People in search of a cause don’t always get it right, but it’s better to be involved and make mistakes, than to be aloof and “perfect”. I do, however, have plenty of activities in the community.

Some of my activities get me in trouble, usually when the “regulars” at a service venue feel like they are doing me a favour by tolerating my presence. This is true more in faith-based activities than in civic groups like Red Cross or Farmer’s Market. It was a bit that way on Saturday, and more so this evening, when I went to help at the evening meal for the homeless. The feeding director was pleasant, as always, but the rest of the crew, including the man who first asked me to help, were sourer than lemons. I stayed anyway, as it is for the clientele that I do anything of this nature.

Generally speaking, I seem to get along better with people my age and younger, than I do with my elders. Mom and my aunts are exceptions, as are some of you faithful readers. There are difficult people in other age groups, of course, but older folks tend to lose their tempers with me, a lot more easily. It usually revolves around novel situations, like electronic connections and my preference for punctuality-as happened this evening, after I got back from the evening meal. I just don’t always handle anomalous situations well, so maybe that’s part of it.

Now it’s time for rest, as tomorrow takes me down to Phoenix, for my dental check-up.

Thoughts On Not Stepping On A Rake

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November 9, 2019-

One of the greatest gifts imparted to me, by my parents, is knowing not to make the same mistake twice.  In his sixth Rule for Life, Jordan Peterson alludes to  a yard full of rakes, with a slapstick comic going about, stepping on one rake after another, and whacking himself about the head repeatedly.

My difficulty with repetition of mistakes has come more from failure to generalize, to apply lessons learned from one set of mistakes to similar, but anomalous, situations.

Dr. Peterson speaks quite a bit, in this segment, about resentment.  He goes through the points many of us know, as to how resentment eats away at the person who harbours it, unless he/she works through the feeling, and draws a self-improving lesson from the incident that led to the ill will.

I have learned, over the years, to work through the matter that caused me to resent a person or group.  Without exception, my path has always led to determining, through the type of soul-searching recommended by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, what I may have done that led to the incident, and how I might not open the door to similar mishaps in the future.

Proactivity can eliminate a good many misfortunes.  Avoiding self-aggrandizement can minimize resentment of those that do come our way.  I learned this, the hard way, by being Penny’s caretaker, and not, once, thinking that the whole thing was brought on by me.  Things I would better have done differently, came to mind and were fully processed.  This has only made me a better person.  Resentment of my lot, would not have done so.