Friday, January 07, 2005

Life is like a grapefruit

It's yellow on the outside, pink and juicy on the inside and it's full of pips that you have to spit out every now and again. Oh and if you get a good one it's very sweet and if you get a bad one, it's very sour. Something a friend of mine said to me on New Year's Eve, which stuck with me is this.
"You should not liberate hot air baloons because it upsets the people in the basket." We were obviously talking about liberating two different kinds of balloons when she made this comment, however observant it may have been. Though it was a profound mind which gave life to this obvious, but hitherto unknown comment. The other interesting episode that occured to me on New Year's Eve, was when I offered a homeless man one of the six beers I was carrying. At least he looked homeless, but on closer inspection, I thought he may have been returning home from a trip because although he was towing bags, they seemed more suitcase and travel like. As well, his attire was less shabby than most homeless I have encountered. He might have been returning home. So I asked him.
"Are you going home?"
He replied,
"Am I going home? Am I going home, well, that's an interesting question."
It occured to me that he was already home and I felt a right pillock.
We were walking at a speed which was almost amiable, so I further explained that I had missed my bus, but I should not get angry as there was sure to be another one. I also explained that I was insisting upon myself a role of tolerance. The man stopped and looked at me and I wondered if I was going to get an earful. He looked at me and said,
"No, you should not be tolerant. Nothing ever changes when people are tolerant. Nothing ever gets done. Only when people are intolerant and reach their limit, do things change. It is when people lose their tempers or get angry, that things change. If someone is being racist about me and someone who listens to them tolerates it, that means that the person being racist gets away with it. Nothing ever changes that way. What you are talking about is Forbearence. Forbearence is about the ability to treat people with love and compassion and kindness, even if you don't agree with them."
That is as much as I can remember because my bus came and he said that since he was headed in an entirely different direction than me, I had better take it. I wished him a happy new year and climbed on the bus. I watched him with his trolley slowly mounting the icy sidewalk and wondered how I could repay him the wonder he had given me.


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