I have recently been accused of being a very bad person by someone. I can't go into the details, but it has been hurtful and weird and, even though I know the situation is crazy, it still has made me question my actions and motives.
Or at least it did for a while. But then I realized - dang me, I really DO try to do the right thing for the most part.
Sure, I'm lazy and sometimes careless and in no way perfect. But I try. Honest, I do.
Pull up your chairs, kiddies: story time!
This morning I pulled my car out of the driveway and headed down the street, glancing in my rearview mirror.
Where I saw a dead cat in the street. Which looked like my neighbors' cat, Penny.
I didn't think I ran over the cat - it looked quite dead - but seeing it set off a firestorm of thoughts.
- Should I stop and get my neighbors, who were most likely asleep?
- Would they want to be awakened with news of their dead cat?
- They would see their dead cat soon enough, right?
- But if it was my animal, would I want it lying out there in the street?
By then I was out across the intersection from which there is no easy return. You have to go All The Way Around.
I sighed. I realized that I had to go back to deal with the dead cat. My plan was to go home, get a box, get gloves, clean Penny up, and present my neighbors with the closed box, so they would not be too traumatized by seeing poor little Penny cat out there in the street.
I got back home - knowing I would be late for work, but oh well. I got out of the car and went to look at Penny.
What I discovered was a total surprise. Not only was Penny not Penny, but Penny wasn't even a cat. Penny was a rabbit. (Sorry, Suzanne). And no one I know on my street has a rabbit.
Off the hook for Death Duty. Whew. But I was willing to do it if I had to. This being a good person thing is a pain in the butt, but it is something we do day by day, moment by moment. And sometimes those moments are gross and weird and strange. But we do what we can, right?
"Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.
After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water."
- from an old story about a Zen master