I think we all start out good.
The idea of a bad seed may be valid, but as far as I am concerned each of us came into this world as inherently blameless. We start out as social beings who feel love, joy, comfort and security. As we grow we learn to be kind, caring, trusting, giving and truthful.
Then along the way something sinister happens to many. In all fairness we each lose some of that good stuff, but many work hard at retaining those qualities that help us be fulfilled, compassionate, contributing members of society. We all want to be decent, moral, generous and considerate.
We become less tolerant, honest, thoughtful, charitable. We often feel like we aren’t protected and feel vulnerable. We lack joy in our lives and search for affection. We hesitate to forgive, to believe, to understand. Some a lot more than others and when that happens we turn our fear outward and lash out at others.
I have to wonder what happened in the life of the man who threw hot coffee in the face of another man doing his job stopping traffic during road construction. How did he get to be so angry, impatient, self-absorbed? Did he not realize you can’t fix a road without traffic hold ups? Did he not realize he was being stopped, not to inconvenience him, but to keep him safe? What happened that made his life so intolerable, so painful he had to attack someone else?
In June I bought a small Christmas tree. Of course, I had no need for it at the time so I simply put the box in the basement with the rest of the seasonal adornments. With the Welcome Back to Otterville studio tour on this weekend I have been busy cleaning and putting up a few simple decorations just to make the house a bit more festive. The new tree, which is a leafless birch with fiber optic lights at the end of each branch, was destined for the front window.
When I set it up I realized there was no plug in. It was a wired tree, not battery operated, but the end of the wire had a strange end which does not fit into a wall socket. I quickly searched the box for an adaptor to no avail.
I headed to Source because they have everything. Much to my horror they did not have anything that would make my tree plug into the outlet. So I headed to the store where I bought it. The boss was not in so I returned the following afternoon only to find the boss was gone already. The employee, the same one I spoke to the day before, made a call. I wandered the store looking at all sorts of interesting things and picking out possible gifts.
Listening to one side of the conversation, it was not inspiring me. At one point she said, “Well, I know, how do we know she didn’t lose it and now wants to return the whole thing?”
She hung up shortly thereafter and began speaking, but I interrupted her by saying, rather sharply, “How do you know I didn’t just lose it and now want to return the whole thing? Because I told you, it wasn’t in the box."
I was informed they had a 30-day return policy to which I said I didn’t need the tree in June. Anyway, everyone is going to look to see if they can find the box and get back to me.
I was not happy when I left, but then I began to think how sad it is that those who have lost all that birth goodness have caused society to be so cynical and untrusting that they feel the need to question all of us about our own reliability.
I’ll let you know what happens.