We, as a society, have attempted for our entire existence to create a better world. To give our children something worth something when we're gone. To truly leave the world a better place.
Recently, I spoke to someone close to me, my landlord.. And he helped me as I thought some issues through. This little article is just a tidbit of lessons learned, and thoughts provoked.
I've been blessed, recently, to have a houseguest from Arkansas. A young man, I might add, that I had the privilege to work with when he was a kid. I met him when he was eleven and had custody of him, off and on, throughout his teens.
I hadn't seen him in a couple of years, outside of a one day visit tucked in there somewhere. I was nervous and very unsure how this visit was going to go. He was a very special kid, but a lot of high maintenance, at times, as well. There were moments..
I was surprised and am very proud of him. We had a great visit. I miss him very much.
He has grown up to be a kind, generous, honest and special man. Not perfect, as none of us are, but his life a miracle, nonetheless. I'm so happy for, and proud of him, for the huge strides and improvements he has made in his life.
I said all that, to say this. As I said, my landlord and I were discussing this and I must say that, although I have lived my life with the same philosophy, I've not ever put it together quite the way he said it to me.
I'm thinking that the blessing that is my houseguest, is a sweet reward for reaching out and caring for him over the years. It is true that the good you do comes back to you. I practiced this concept, and way of life for years.
What has eluded and disappointed me is that many times after loving and caring for people, they still wind up doing something to burn me and drop out of my life and some never are seen again. I expected that they would return the good invested in them.
While I have to believe that somewhere down the road these folks will learn from, or appreciate something from our relationship, this isn't the way I receive back.
The good we put out will come back, but not necessarily from the person we put it into. Hopefully, down the road, those that I've been good to will return the good to someone in need around them. When someone does something good to you, pass it on. If everyone would live by this simple principle, the world would truly be a better place.
If you stop and help a traveler fix a tire, he or she might not even say thank you. Yet, somewhere down the road you may have a need. Maybe a flat tire, maybe not. Someone, somewhere, if they are listening to what they know is right, will come to your rescue.
Not to speak ill of anyone, or to sound like a whiner, in any way. Simply to make a point, indulge me as I tell more details.
I have worked with teens for most of my teen years, and all of my adult years. In the very recent past, due to my divorce and the age my youngest son is, I have all but stopped. I love young people and help out if I can, but for all intents and purposes, help in a different way now.
I have taken in every, 'stray', that has come to me in need and tried to help each one. Some have been very easy to love, and some not. Some have come around years later, and some are forever out of my life experience.
I have given of my time, life, energy, and money to these troubled and needy souls. (Again, something we should all do, I am no saint.)
In recent years, I found myself in hard times. Financially, and emotionally. Just, drained of any and all resources.
I have quite recently received caring and supportive help. I have been helped in the form of decent, caring landlords who have been so much more than landlords. Their support and kindness has blown me away. My neighbors have helped with moving me in and offering a listening ear and advice when I needed it. My parents, my brother and his family, you name it.
I told you about a houseguest who has done right by, and respected me. Then there's the houseguest that disappointed and disrespected me. I care much for, and still consider him a friend. Always will. I just thought that there would be some of the satisfaction and encouragement that comes when you know you helped, in some small way, to build a great character.
Is he a lost cause, or hopeless? No way! I'm only speaking of this particular block of time. I'm using him as an example.
I tried to help him. I've always tried to support and encourage him. He has had slam after slam against him. He burned me, this time, with negligence and disrespect. I know, in his defense, that he is hurting and going through a lot on his own. This doesn't excuse him, it explains him.
This being said, I can only hope and pray, that somewhere down the road, he'll reach out and help someone around him.
Thanks to those words of wisdom from one of those others, myself being on this list, and who has been doing it a bit longer than me. I understand and accept those times of being burned just a little better. I can face disappointment just a little more gracefully. God bless those who have burned me, and help them to come to realize themselves and to do good to someone else someday.
I've always had a problem with taking everything too personally. I'm finally seeing that it's not about me, but about all of us. If we'll all just do our part, for each other, for God, and..
"For A Better World"