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Being there for the other guy


Do you remember that moment when you were little, and your sibling, cousin or 'friend' took the cookie you were about to eat and gobbled it down before you could do anything about it? Then there was that baseball or soccer game you were sure you should have won, or the time you failed that test, so you were sure the teacher had it in for you. What about when you lost that date or job to another person? Maybe, someone you know or you yourself, are dealing with a health condition, and you feel you've already filled your quota in that area of life. Maybe you have been recently looking back at the way things went and wished things had turned out differently.

See that; I've just written this list of things in minutes flat; it took hardly any time to come up with them. We all have experienced a sense of injustice in life at some point.

Disappointments are part of life but don't have to be part of us. Regrets, what-ifs or if-onlys, and especially if-they-only-hadn't-done-that my life would be sooo much better, are all expressions of begrudging the realities of life, expectations which were unfulfilled. The more this happens in life, the greater the tendency there can be to hold onto what we think we have left, all the tighter. So, this may explain why we find so many controlling or selfish people out there.

The knee-jerk reaction, to hold onto something we feel is being taken, can keep us stuck; hoarding, mostly a sense of loss, victimization, and anger at others and the conditions of life. This is almost involuntary at first, but continuing to respond impetuously is the beginning of fear. It always remains our choice to look at things in this framework or choose a healthier one. It's time to let go of that tether and move forward in new ways, to learn to get out of that head space perpetually.

During the flux of Covid, some chose to fight their feelings by finding a different outward cause to pick on, or person or persons to blame, a kind of deflection of feelings. You know, the desperate but vocal shell game. It goes like this, let's point the finger, and somehow we will have exonerated ourselves and sent our fear to the one we are pointing at. Hence, the blame on Ford, anti-vaxers, the Chinese or any Asians will do, the guy in traffic, our spouse or children, or some senior who is in the queue ahead of us at a store. This was all an exercise in massive denial about one's own insecurities amidst change, so much being different than our expectations.

Did we think Ford expected this, the senior in the line ahead, or the boss who had to downsize?

I must state here, this does not include those frontline workers who reached out to others during the past few years, or any time. Their fight is of a different kind entirely.

It is understandable why many fell down big time, but just because it can be understood, doesn't mean it was, then, a healthy choice. Sometimes there is no place for blame, only growth; the choice to do differently than we have before.

Others turned inward, anxious, withdrawing from life, giving in to a sense of the inevitable. All this did, and ever does, is guarantee their loss. Those who then stroked this, were not showing love but apathy for the need of those very people to learn to not become victims. This was not taking into account the value of others as equal, which adds sobering personal honesty and true self-esteem.

You see, this is where the mislabelling of kindness or miss-profiling of love leads to self-absorption and egocentricity. They live believing all circumstances must be what they desire, or they feel betrayed and call that abuse. Certainly, there are moments when real atrocities occur, but to learn to say, because of you or because of this, I am this, is the profoundest of lies, telling the perpetrator or circumstance they can have control.

Both of these tendencies are a kind of running on fear and preoccupation with one's self regarding a perceived threat, whether real or just thought to be. It's more than selfish; it's narcissism and leads to classic depression. We cannot promote this as an option of the way we should attempt to function in life.

This is not the identity Canadians had in the past, on a world stage, or even on an individual level culturally. By and enlarge, a short circuit has taken place, and we've been failing to ingrain or passion that certain something which engenders thinking about the other guy.

Here's a reflection, what's good is not defined by what one prefers; that's how plants live, and they still deliver the best of their own essence to a seed and release it for another life to grow; yet, this is not before it also dies. Certainly, if the seed could get what it would prefer, it would choose to live, but maybe this is just how life goes for the plant cycle and planet to thrive; for the ecosystem to be healthy. So maybe plants don't live consumed with their own needs after all. Could that mean plants are more noble than us? That's not narcissism for sure that's loving your neighbour, your family, and the place you live.

We've just passed another milestone in Canada Day, and we have an opportunity here.

I think more important than a New Year's resolution could be the idea of adopting a Canada Day resolution each year. The question we should ask ourselves could go something like this, “How am I going to live differently to bless Canada this year?”

Our country is our environment; let's pass on good seeds and think about the other guy.

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