Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Unintended Consequences: The Older I Get the Less I Know

I had some free time today so I went to visit a sick friend in the hospital.  I really did not have a choice in the matter since this was a friend who would give you the shirt off his back or to be literal, open his check book and say how much do you need.  So you would think that, from a transactional perspective, I was doing him a favor, paying back a debt, and/or giving him a gift.  Well, the reality could not be further from the expectation.  My friend, as sick as he is, gave me the biggest gift I have had in a long time if not ever.

My friend taught me courage, perseverance, resilience, stoicism, bravery, moderation and the definition of being a man, without ever opening his mouth.  I do not mean this in some kind of feigned, insecure kind of way, (like myself), but in the adult, intellectual; ideal sense of what it means to be a man.  You know, like in the Bible when it says "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things" 1 Corinthians 13:11.  Well the difference between my friend and I , despite the fact that I am probably 15 years or more older than him, is the difference between a boy and a man, with me being the boy.

I spent the rest of the afternoon appreciating everything I have instead of what I do not.  I was polite to other drivers, I engaged with the elderly customers at my local independent supermarket and even apologized to an elderly man who walked out in front of my motorcycle.  In other words I stopped acting like an a$$hole.  And that is the greatest gift someone can receive.

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