Monday, June 7, 2010
Kindness is the Best Policy
"Kindness is almost always the right thing to do."
I noted the flashing billboard as we drove home from the graduation party. "Oh yes. I thought. I'm really working on instilling this in my little people. I'm glad I'm a kind person. It seems to work really well for me." I've used many lessons and signs to drive this point home including many Mormonads.
This morning Briz took me for an early morning tennis date. My fragile body is recovering from so many tennis dates last week. The right wrist is weak and can't hold up a forehand. Both knees ache as they rush to greet the ball. My back is strained from reaching difficult backhands. While protecting my body, I injure other parts. I can't get a shot for love nor money. I meditate, I focus on follow through, I watch the ball. It isn't working. Briz approaches me with a tip...."You're too close to the ball. All your shots are going wide." Does he think somehow I've missed that fact? Frustrated, I keep trying.
I turn to him. "Would you like to come and play?" I ask. "No." he answered. "I don't play tennis.."
"Then perhaps you wouldn't mind keeping your mouth shut."
"O.K." The earphones went back in and he shuffled off.
That went easier than I thought it would. Briz approached me with consternation at the net. "Dodi, that woman had mental handicaps. Couldn't you tell?"
"She is hanging out here because she has no where else to go. She was hoping to start a conversation... She yelled NETTER because she felt so proud that she knew what one was."
The breath went out of me as though I'd been sucker punched. I didn't stand up for myself at all. I injured a woman who had plenty of injuries all ready. How could I be so cruel? She was long gone, but she stayed in my mind. My shots didn't get a lot better. I was out of bounds with more than just my ball. My mind was on a lonely young woman wandering around the skate park.
As we walked to our car, I saw her (for now her gender was clear). She turned to avoid me and started to walk faster. "Please!" I called. "Stop!" I cut her off. "I am so sorry I was rude earlier. Will you please forgive me? I was really frustrated with my game. I had no right to be so unkind. Tell me about yourself." Our conversation continued for a few more moments then she ambled off, skipping and happily kicking a rock.