Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Doing a good deed daily and turning the other cheek

Give it up for Sister Bernadette!
I went to Catholic school in my elementary years, you guys. I'm not sure what grade it was, but there was a whole campaign in the Catholic schools at the time entitled, “Do a Good Deed Daily.” Now, as a natural rebel, I didn't normally fall for the subliminal brainwashing perpetrated by the church, but somehow, this campaign seeped into my noggin and stayed there. And believe it or not, my idea of what that should entail doesn't differ that much from that of the nuns that had the displeasure of putting up with my rebellious butt.

Score 2 points for Sister Bernadette! Oh sure, it could have been my arch enemy, Sister Virgo but I liked Sister Bernadette better so I'm giving her the credit.

Now, like every other thing in my life, I probably take the do good thing a bit to the extreme. Damn that helper gene! But really, in today's world, how can you possibly do too much good?

So, I have a weird way of looking at things compared to most. And that's the point of this whole spiel. You have to know that the nuns also taught me to turn the other cheek. After all, they wouldn't be proper nuns if they didn't. And I sort of agree with that too, but maybe I take it to a different level.

The older I get, the more pain I have gone through. Some of that pain has been caused by the actions of others. You see, when you turn the other cheek, you tend to resent those who aren't as kind and understanding to you as you are to them. That resentment can make you downright miserable.

And now, the revelation.

Turning the other cheek and doing a good deed daily do not make you some sort of humble martyr. In fact, they do just the opposite. Because when you turn the other cheek, you are placing the responsibility for unkind actions, words, thoughts and deeds, right where it belongs. That is, in the hands of the perpetrator.

Oh, snap!

So from now on, when someone treats me like crap, lies, cheats, steals or is just generally a mean person, I vow to remain true to my kind nature. I will treat them kindly. I will not return their rudeness.

I refuse to go through sleepless nights and worrisome days because I have not done anything to deserve that. I will go about my business and allow them to stew, steep and live in their own deceit, guilt and anger if that's what they wish to do. And who knows? Maybe my patience will pay off, love will seep in and they will change.

But if they don't, that's their choice and their burden as well.

I refuse to carry it or be made miserable by it.

I think the nuns would be proud of me.

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