Posts Tagged ‘responsibility’

The Kitten Dream

3 December 2020

This dream happened very fast. It was just flashes of images. This story fleshes it out a little bit.

A little kitten finds its way into my apartment.

It sort of hangs out quietly for about a week.

Next it decides it’s safe to explore, and begins to go around the place and sniff and jump up on stuff.

About a week after that, it finds me sitting at my desk, jumps up and attacks my hand with its sharp teeth.

I shake off the image and ask myself: What was this kitten’s problem?

The answer I got: I forgot to feed it!

My sister’s cat Easter.

Lesson learned from this dream:

Not everyone you meet is capable of walking up to you and simply stating what they need and want from you.

You might need to show some real interest in the person, and then coax this out of them.

Or maybe you just have to guess based on how they are behaving.

Corollary:

A friend in trouble might not feel comfortable telling you straight up what they want from you, even though you think this would be something they would share.

Try to find out; it could be important!

Short Story

25 November 2020

Once upon a time, a boy and girl fell in love. They seemed perfect for each other. They enjoyed their times together in a calm and simple way that no one else seemed to notice or care about. He pledged to her that they would spend their lives together. But he was only a little boy. How could he keep this promise?

Sure enough, one day his parents announced to the family that they would be moving to a land far away, where Father had found work. The boy’s attention went off his friends as the excitement of the move filled his days. And then the family was gone from that place, and the boy found himself living in a new town, thousands of miles away.

The little girl wondered where her friend had gone, and cried. But eventually, the busyness of life restored her spirit, and she made new friends and continued on.

Meanwhile, the little boy had become fascinated and captivated by his new surroundings. The town he had moved to was older than the one he had left, and the climate there was much different. As the winter’s snows melted from the lawns of his family’s new house, the boy, aware that he needed new friends, made many attempts to play with the girls he met at school, as he had done where he used to live.

But the children here had been raised differently, and the girls he met all dismissed him. He did not get discouraged at first, but then one night as he slept, the face of his former best friend appeared to him, smiling calmly as she always had. And he realized that not only would he never see her again, but that he had not had a chance to say goodbye.

And so, lifetimes of unkept promises pressed their full weight upon his emotions, and he began to cry. He cried for what seemed like hours. At first, it seemed he was crying only for his lost love. But then it became more obvious that he was crying for all those unkept promises, indeed, for all the tragedies of his fragile world, and of all the worlds that had existed before it.

Sixty years passed.

Though his world survived, it showed it weaknesses at every turn of the planet around its axis. And a boy and girl again fell in love. The boy was, perhaps, the same boy. His body was bigger, and his skin had wrinkled. His belly had grown a bit too large, and his ability to run freely and laugh with his friends had diminished. And yet, he had, again, fallen in love.

He and his new friend spent many mornings together talking. Their concerns were now the concerns of “adults” and no longer the trifling concerns of children, made large and important only by their imaginations. These were real concerns of real importance. At least, that’s how they saw it.

And then a disaster befell the land, as will happen in our fragile worlds, and the two who so cared about each other were separated. Amid the distractions of the moment, the boy forgot about his new friend. He had assumed that she was safe and cared for, though he actually had no idea. But then a man who was part of his community mentioned to him that his friend had been sent away. Where had she gone? Was she in fact safe? How were her children doing? And her parents, brothers and sisters?

He guessed that she had returned to the place where her family lived. It was too far away for him to travel there, but this world had communication devices that made it possible to stay connected even so. And though he now regretted that his kind had, thousands of years ago, lost the ability to connect with each other directly, he used the tools he had at his disposal to try to find her and reestablish contact.

This was a difficult struggle for him. It involved many new tears, and he often wondered why exactly this seemed so important to him, and why he was crying so much.

And then one day, a message from her appeared on the screen of his device. He answered it impulsively, then sat in his chair and cried some more. She had promised to meet with him and let him know all that had happened to her since the disaster had separated them. When the appointed day arrived, he sent her a short message. But she did not respond. Later in the day, he left a voice message urging her to at least have a brief meeting with him. Still no response. He went out and walked around his neighborhood, as had become his recent habit. He found some cheer in the little children’s laughing and taunting of their parents, excited about the winter holiday festivities that were quickly approaching. And yet, his friend did not reply. That evening he sent another message, forgiving her, and reassuring her that he would be very happy to hear from her in any form, at any time.

That night the boy (man?) went to bed with a troubled heart. What was keeping him apart from his new friend? She seemed fearful of something. What was it? And then he recalled the friendship that he had broken sixty years earlier, through his own over-excitement in anticipating a new experience. It was his own carelessness that had ruined (had it?) the most precious friendship he had known that lifetime. And now he was prepared to put the responsibility for his difficulty at reconnecting on the shoulders of his new friend! What folly! He cried again, most heavily, realizing his own complicity in his own heartbreak.

He arose that morning weary, but ready to face the new day. He did indeed live in a fragile world. But that fragility, it seemed clear now, was of his own creation.

Avaaz begins to get it

22 September 2012

I got a link today in my email to an article on the Avaaz website.

I posted that link on my other blog with their graphic, which I think says a lot.

My Universe – Current Events – Avaaz begins to get it.

Avaaz was set up by some idealistic people who hope to change the world by getting people from around the world to sign petitions concerning specific issues.

I had seen this approach as kind of knee-jerk (reactive – waiting for something bad to happen, then reacting to it) but they also have a more proactive side which is very well illustrated in their article.

They are attracted to the idea that the Salifists could be the ones behind all this agitation we are seeing in the news. This is a step forward in their thinking, but it still violates a principle that I try to follow when I look at current events: An event begins when an individual thinks of creating it. That individual may use a group to help him create the event, but the truth is that every group is also composed of individuals. The key to solving a problem is to locate the individual creating it. Blaming any event on a group usually gets us nowhere.

The slideshow in the Avaaz article is so effective at demonstrating how “Muslim” DOES NOT EQUAL “angry” that I very much urge you to take a look at it.