Comforting Words: 05/2008

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Pray It Forward

I had not planned on writing before settling down in Calgary but as the saying goes “the only thing that is constant is change.”

Hold up in a hotel room in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan for two weeks now with one more to go, I was bored to tears. I am here, en route to Calgary, participating in training for the position I have been promoted to and will assume in a couple of weeks.

Robert left a couple days ago returning to Edmonton to oversee the moving of our belongings. He came out here to provide chauffeur services as my 3-week training was interrupted by my having to appear in court back in Edmonton last Tuesday.

I was at first angry at having to do the 10 hours of driving that was involved. However, recognizing that I had to fulfill my civic duty, Robert made the 1000+ kilometer trip twice to get me to court and back to Saskatoon. What a man!

Now spending my second weekend in Saskatoon and again on my own I was at a lost as to what to do. Earlier today I was complaining in text messages to Robert how there is not much to do. Edmonton is often referred to as “Deadmonton” but Saskatoon is a killer!

In one of those messages I confessed to Robert that I was just now feeling the after effect of my court appearance. One of his many sage advices to me was to write a post, having learned in a short time how cathartic writing is for me.

So here I am writing but it was not primarily due to Robert’s suggestion. Two things prompted me to write – an email and a movie.

This was not the first time I was watching “Pay It Forward,” however, my previous viewings were always interrupted. When I saw the promotions for it and with my full agenda (ha-ha) for the day, I made a note of the time and set my alarm to ensure that I did not miss it.

Some of the details of “Pay It Forward,” were new to me but the bottom-line I clearly remembered – ‘be kind’, ‘do random acts of kindness’, and ‘look out for each other’.

As with the previous viewings, I cried at the end when the 7th grade hero, Trevor, was murdered by a similarly aged school mate as he went to the aid of a classmate who was being bullied.

Still tearful, I went to my computer to check email – another one of the fun activities on my ‘To Do’ list for this day. And there it was – my second motivation to write.

Using a fictitious name, the sender simply typed in the subject line “Good riddance Bitch.”

My breath caught momentarily at the venom and hatred that was embodied in this email. I did what I had to do to track the message and then closed the programme.

Why? Why do we feel a need to hurt each other? Why was this message necessary?

These were some of the questions in my mind as I thought about this email and the sender. Clearly they are happy at the news of my leaving Edmonton, Alberta but should that not have been enough? Why was it necessary to try to spread their venom?

Human nature is so strange. I should know because I am one and through my career I daily witness what hatred, maliciousness and self-loathing does to my sisters and brothers of all stripes.

My dogs, Angello and Marley, must have sensed the emotions that I was wrestling to control and both jumped up on our temporary bed and snuggled beside me.

They paid it forward. Their actions reminded me to stop and pray.

Sometimes that is all we need to do to “pray it forward.” Pray for those who would wish or cause us harm. Pray when you feel like causing harm or even retaliating.

And so I pray – for blessings and love for my friends – old and new. I pray for my loved ones – near and far, and I pray for would be enemies that they may find peace.

One more week in Saskatoon and on to my new life in Calgary!

Walk good all of you until then.



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