My meditation today…
One of the GBM patients in one of our support groups went holiday shopping with his wife. They went to pick out a gift for their daughter. It was a triumph, because he hasn’t felt good enough to get out of the house in so long.
Unfortunately, he has aphasia and he’s lost his peripheral vision. All too common for glioblastoma warriors. He tripped on a display he couldn’t see at a store and knocked everything down. He was so embarrassed.
As people helped pick it all up, someone had the gall to tell his wife that she should make him lay off the booze before going out in public. The wife doesn’t know if he’ll go out with her again.
I’m appalled for their experience.
But the thing is, I know that before I understood this disease, I might have thought he’d been drinking too.
I wouldn’t have said anything, but it is very possible that I would have thought it. Because I simply had no clue before. I didn’t understand brain cancer at all.
*Maybe* my experience with disabled children would have helped clue me in, but if I was busy, I doubt it.
Our perspectives in life are often reasonable, based on logic and data we already possess.
But that does not automatically translate into the truth, the whole truth and nothing but truth.
Logic alone does not make us fair and just. Seemingly reasonable does not equal justification.
We are capable of interpreting what we witness and experience as falsehoods. In our justified reasonableness, we can sin against our fellow man.
We can judge and accuse others of actions and beliefs they haven’t taken and don’t have. Because “actions speak louder than words.”
This is why temperance, compassion and love are so important.
They help us to take another look.
Compassion tells us not to jump to conclusions and to offer our hand. Love tells us to hold our tongue and strive not to harm our neighbor. Temperance reminds us that just because we can, doesn’t mean it’s right.
Steven Covey reminded us to shift our paradigm. Every major religion in the world reminds us to be slow to assumption and mindful in our choices. And God reminds us that we are all his children.