I have always said "Be Kind" but have come to know kindness is very hard to achieve. I like to think I am aiming to be kind. It hasn't found me yet. Sure there are moments, many moments actually of doing kind things or just being nice to people. However there are times when I am mean and in one case violent to people. This is the struggle for me. I am considerate and think of others and their well-being but there is a side of me which can be cruel, mean. Does it mean I am a person who is bad? Can I ever say I am a good person?
A friend of mine gave me this book to read: Sacred Contact by Caroline Myss. The jacket of the book says it is a "powerful program for discovering one's purpose in life". Started reading it and thinking this is going to be a chore. Actually finding gems for the mind and heart in this book so far. I understand in many discussions surrounding Spirituality and Enlightenment there is the notion of bringing in various Religious ideologies into the mix. I have to make sure to keep an open mind and not close off what is being said when Christianity enters the discussion. It is a task to be aware of our bias. In any case this book about becoming aware of the Divine and your own path. It has me thinking about me and my journey so far in life.
There is a past we all have, the hidden secrets, the mistakes, the embarrassment, the kind deeds, the generosity and everything else. If truth be known I should have been locked up for my actions. On the other hand I know I have done very nice things, very generous and thoughtful actions. Its a difficult thing to really look at who we are and what we do. I listened to CBC Radio - Out in the Open show. It was about how people responded to a Crisis (Crisis Reactors). The show examines how people reacted to situations and what they thought they would have done. Some stepped up in Crisis while others froze. "We all want to believe we would be the hero".
I joke and tease quite a bit, some of the teasing is quite mean, and I can do mean things as well, I have been told. I also am very generous and thoughtful, I have been told. Without going to examples of my bad actions and my good actions, lets just say its true, I am very good and also bad.
So how do I reconcile with the two me's? The ugly mean bad person and the very good nice guy?
I think we are not on a linear plane. I mean things are not like a time line. We don't just go from one thing to another, one day to another day. I understand as we age we become more experienced and therefore should be more wiser and not make the same mistakes again. Or we know what is good and should continue with those actions we know have good outcomes. It doesn't really work that way. We are a number of things; from the nice person to the ugly and all that in between. Its funny in some ways we are very critical of ourselves; coward, selfish, lazy, rude, mean. We also overvalue our character; super kind, generous, humble, intelligent, attractive, intuitive.
So how would I categorize myself? A good guy? A bad guy? A regular fella?
I like to tease and say I am a "god" (Not thee God of course).
I think we can get wrapped up in labels. We can be very hard on ourselves for our many mistakes. We down play the good things we have done for others. I want really hard to be able to say, "yeah the Steve is a pretty damn good guy" as opposed to saying "what an arsehole Steve is".
So I will just play it by ear from here on. I am on journey and my journey is about doing things, and the spectrum of those things have yet to be determined. If I have some influence on those things, well maybe most of them will be nice. Funny our vision of who we are and the view of who we are by others are quite different.
At the end of the day if we are keeping score, I think I'm in the pretty damn good column.
As one homicidal manic once said "Its not the people who vote that count, it's the people who count the votes". So its me counting the score and that is what counts.