Tuesday, August 13, 2013

You Get What You Give

Note: Please ignore the typos and grammatical errors. I don't like to edit what I write , because it makes me want to change it and it takes away from the pure emotions I felt as I wrote it. So unless it's a school paper or such, I write what I feel, then breeze through it once, hoping to catch most errors. 

My brain is especially weak today. I've been up for two nights in a row taking care of sick babies.  Perhaps I can blame the fatigue for my harsh thoughts yesterday. I hate it when I am quick to judge without hesitation. I can usually put myself in my place and replace judgement with compassion, but I've been feeling quite hostile due to an unfortunate series of events in my life.

I'll be honest. I'm a little disgusted with myself. After all I've been through during the last few years, I should know better.

I don't even know where to start. I have so much to say and the words just aren't coming.
I'll do my best. I apologize in advance for my brutal honesty (and my ignorance). I promise I am not into brutality. I need to make a point and I can't do it by sugar coating the cruel thoughts that ran through my head.

You've been warned.

Yesterday, after a morning of errands and doctor's appointments, the boys and I ended up at McDonald's. We were hot and hungry, so we got a couple of happy meals and I sat  while the boys took their time running back and forth from the table to the play area. I quickly noticed an older gentlemen sitting alone directly in front of me. He was tall, well over six feet, lean and fair-skinned. He was dressed nice. Slacks, a dress shirt and a cotton pilot hat. A cotton pilot hat? in the middle of summer? His skin looked damaged. He had red, dry patches on his arms and his face. The left side of his face was droopy. But his most noticeable physical feature of all was a big, open sore on the left side of  the bridge of his nose. It looked raw and moist.

Gross, I thought. I hope whatever that is isn't contagious.

My kids kept running by him as they quickly took bites of their cheeseburgers and french fries and ran back to play. Don't worry, I made them sanitize their hands each time they ran back. Because of the germs, I mean. Not because they were running by him.
I kept catching myself thinking about how he shouldn't be out around children like that. What if it is contagious? what if my kids catch it? I wanted him to leave. I wanted him to move away from the children's play area. What the hell is that thing on his nose? It looks so disgusting! I thought over and over. I watched him as he pressed a napkin against it numerous times, as if to dry off the fluid from the sore. It looked red and raw and concave.

He was there almost as long as we were. He took his time eating, then I watched him as he pulled out a bunch of change from a pouch and separated the coins. He sat there quietly, minding his own business. He didn't even look up when Julian ran so close by him that I thought he was going to run right into him, as my oldest boy often tends to do. Usually he runs into things (mail boxes, signs and such) but I have seen him dart right into people a few times. But that's a whole other story. Ahh, that boy of mine. I wonder about him sometimes...

Anyway... as a professional WebMD surfer and former (still working on it) hypochondriac, I resorted to the data base in my cluttered head to diagnose the poor, oblivious man. In my mind he had a flesh-eating bacteria, or perhaps he was allergic to the sun. I saw that on the Discovery Channel once. How else do you explain the cotton pilot hat in August? I believe I even gave him AIDS and cancer and then blamed a recent stroke for the droopiness in the left side of his face.

I sat there judging him for a good hour or so before I realized what I was doing. So many adjectives came to my mind.
Insensitive, cruel, mean, unkind, callous...
But sometimes I really just have to call myself a bitch.  So...bear with me as I appropriately scold myself and put myself in my place. *Ahem*

You bitch! who the fuck do you think you are? why don't you take a mirror and look at yourself before you criticize others. Your own nose looks like a cross between a cat's and a pig's nose, you cold-hearted jerk. You don't like what you see, then look away! Mind your own business! you want to diagnose something? then diagnose my foot up your ass after I get done with you, asshole.

Ok, I'm done. I have a few more choice words for me, but I'm trying not to be too hard on myself. I've had a rough week and I want to believe the recent events in my life have made me more hostile and bitter than the average human.

The truth is I am not perfect. I teach my kids to be open minded and kind, but I do the complete opposite when no one is looking. For a moment, I made myself feel better by putting someone else down. What if he needed positive thoughts and vibes and I sent out nothing but negativity? His eyes looked sad. What if he needed a smile? What if I made him as uncomfortable as he made me? What if he just wanted to have his lunch in peace without people like me staring at him?

I'm sorry. I hope he is well. I hope his skin feels better today. I hope he is happy and healthy.

And if you're one of those who is thinking "Ehhh, who cares? it's not like you said it out loud or  pointed and laughed at him.."  well, that still doesn't make it right. I truly believe that what you put out is what you get in return. Call it karma or whatever you'd like. Put out hate and ill will and you will get it right back. Put out compassion and kindness, it will come back to you.

I hate that I allowed my mind to assume and jump to conclusions so quickly without stopping to think about what a day in his shoes might be like. As humans, I believe it's natural to wonder and then fill in the blanks with whatever will keep our minds satisfied, even if it means being unkind and ignorant. The question is can that cycle be broken? Can I go out and not care about what people wear or how they look or how I think they should have handled themselves in a situation. Can I? Can you?

I'm so tired. The baby is asleep and I should be resting, but I can't stop thinking about that man. Wherever he is, I am sending out good thoughts to him. Goodnight.