I am no better and no worse than the next person.
I cannot say that I would never do what so-and-so has done because I am simply not that person. I have not walked in their shoes, I have not grown up in their family or experienced any of the things that have shaped and moulded them into whoever they currently are. So having said that, who’s to say that I would not do exactly what they have done had I been in their shoes?
Please don’t misunderstand, it’s not that I have low self-esteem. I just feel that I have no right to point fingers because whatever screwed up thing someone else has done, I too have probably done it in some form along the way. And if I haven’t, it was only by God’s grace that I have been in a different situation that has allowed me to behave differently.
Let me admit that despite being on earth for 3 decades and trying to live by Christian principles, I still do some pretty messed up things. Just to name a few, in recent times I have lost my temper, hurt people that I love, gossiped, been overly critical of others, been really ungrateful / ungracious and have behaved in a manner that has lacked integrity.
As a human, I am flawed. I am not trying to make excuses for myself. What I mean to say is that despite my best intentions, I am invariably going to do some bad/hurtful/stupid things. I apologise in advance for this and ask that as a fellow human bean, you be as empathetic as you can towards me, as I will be towards you. Also, if you feel that I am doing these bad/hurtful/stupid things, please point them out to me so that I might have a chance to reflect, grow and change.
Thank you and grace be with you all the days of your life.
Today my friend was learning to drive so I acted as the quasi-driving instructor.
“Ok, we need to change lanes here. Could you move into the right lane please?”
My friend put her right signal on, checked her blind spot for a couple of seconds, then turned her right signal back off.
“Why didja do that?”
“I saw a car in the lane so I turned off my signal.”
“Uh, but you need to change lanes right?”
“Yeah but when I had my signal on the car slowed down.”
“That’s coz he was giving way to you!”
“Yeah but I wasn’t comfortable that he was there…”
(At that point I was doing an internal face palm. I’m sure my eyeballs were bulging from my face.)
In reflection I asked myself:
How often do I find myself in the situation where I ask God for something, and then through sheer grace have my request granted… only to reject it because it isn’t quite in a form I am comfortable with?
I said goodbye to my patient who was being transferred to a hospice. He’s going there to starve to death because his cancer is so advanced that he is no longer able to swallow.
I really had a hard time with this. I had spoken to him the day before and he still had a lot of fight in him. He didn’t look like a man who was on his last legs. Nothing about him said “sick” or “dying” unlike some of the other patients I’d encountered.
I hid in the corner of the hospital and cried although I was not sure why. Maybe it was just that time of the month. Or maybe because I felt so damned helpless. Or maybe I cried because I thought it was so freaking ironic that here was one patient who actually did want to eat and had a good appetite, but just couldn’t.
This man had not been ready for the end and it made me wonder about the kind of life he had lived…
Which leads me to the few things that have really struck me from placement at hospital:
1) Value your health.
If you smoke, quit. If you drink copious amounts, stop. If you’re pre-diabetic or have diabetes, work to get that under control. If you eat lots of junk, swap it for lotsa veg. Go out and exercise.
Why bother? Try regrowing a leg that’s turned gangrene from poor vasculature as a result of diabetes or part of your neck that’s been lopped off because of a cancerous growth from smoking. It’s easy to ignore some health warnings because they don’t affect you RIGHT NOW, but once they do… It’s very possible that the consequences are irreversible.
(My dear friends, if I have nagged you of late about smoking or drinking, it is only because I love u. I make no apologies for it.)
2) Be grateful
This has been especially highlighted to me every time I come across a patient who can’t swallow cos they’ve got a tumour, or can’t talk cos they’ve got a stroke… It suddenly strikes me how much i take these everyday liberties for granted.
3) Your state of health affects those who love you most
From the lady who was guilt ridden for not being able to bring her husband home to care for him because he was obese (how do you lift your obese husband into the shower or even turn him in bed when he’s had a stroke and can no longer move himself?) to the husband who was desperately trying to nourish his wife by hiding supplement powder in her soup.
When you’re sick, the people who care for you most are also deeply affected.
4) Live EVERYDAY
Live hard. Taste the food you eat. Tell or show your loved ones you love them. Give your dog a big fat squeeze. Really Listen. Etc etc etc So freaking cliched, but so damned important. There’s a reason why people keep harping on about this shit
5) Find God
Your time on earth is finite. When you’re near your end, will it be a desperate cling because you fear eternal obliteration or a confident walk into the next stage of life to meet your Maker?