02-23-2014, 07:34 AM
Join Date: Nov 1999
i've been thinking about individual perspective (and
collective perspective too for that matter) and how
it changes; in an hour, in a day, in a year, in a lifetime.
Joe shoots a man dead in the course of robbing a
Seven-Eleven. The same Joe buys a cup of coffee and a
breakfast sandwich for a homeless guy who waits outside
a do-nut shop each morning. He does this for years.
To the family of the man who's life Joe took, Joe is
evil; he's a murderer. He doesn't deserve to be on
on the streets or the planet. But to the homeless guy,
this same Joe is a compassionate man and a Godsend,
and the homeless guy will always remember the kindness
of this Joe and see him that way.
And what about Joe's perspective? It will change countless
times through out his life too. We are the sum of many parts,
many experiences, many deeds and who we are changes
over and over again as a result.
My father caused me great psychic harm, and while he was
alive that was all i could see. We were estranged for almost
30 years as a result. But when i was told he had passed -
suddenly i saw the whole life; suddenly that one part of his
life could not hold a candle to the whole life. Suddenly it wasn't
about MY life anymore. It was about his; the full essence of his
life before me and after me. My father was well loved by his
community and they came out in droves to his wake with story
upon story of his kindnesses and good character. There was
something one of his ex-girlfriends said that stood out to me
more than anything else. She said: "but there was a sadness
about him sometimes; as if something ate at him but he would
never talk about it". My father wasn't perfect. No one knows that
more than me. But after he died here's what became quite clear:
My father had a good heart.
i am reminded of that line from the Wizard to the Tin-man:
"A heart is not judged by how much YOU love, but by how much
YOU are loved by others"
It's not our mistakes that define us, but rather what is in our
hearts regarding things that defines us. When someone has a
good heart, you can see it, you feel it and you love them for it.