Saturday, July 21, 2007
Something has occurred to me. Something big and applicable to the big scheme of things. You ready? Here it is: we need to forgive those who make mistakes or behave poorly because they don't know better. There is much we don't know. How can we possibly have this whole life sorted out? Who on Earth has all the answers, knows just what to do at the exactly the right moment, has harmonious relationships with everyone, holds no grudges, and has a perfectly balanced life? If you know anyone, send that person my way. I could gain a few pointers I'm sure.
People act strangely around me a lot. It's not the idea of a girl sitting in a wheelchair that makes people uncomfortable; it's the act of interacting with her. How do you talk to her? Will she understand? What if she bites? Cries? Drools? Goes into convulsions? There's just no telling. The result of uncertainty can be yelling in my face, patting my head, public prayer for healing, staring, trying to push my 300 lbs. wheelchair, or just walking away - all of which are frustrating but common.
Being dependent on others can be challenging. People slather my face with moisturizer when I ask for just a little. I end up looking like I buttered my face. I sometimes have exotic ponytails on the top of my head, giving the impression that I'm trying to make a statement. My dishes are in funky places in the kitchen and there are days when my socks don't match. It's a challenge, but I have to forgive. I have to believe people mean well. I have to believe people are good, because I strive to be a good person myself.
I have to forgive all the yelling, leering, head-patting and ignoring. I have to forgive excessive moisturizer, weird ponytails, misplaced dishes, and socks that clash. I forgive because people don't know better. As Maya Angelou says, "When we know better, we do better." We do what we think is best, which really is all we can ask of one another, isn't it?