Thursday, December 15, 2005


I remember when she started. I would occasionally stop by her office to talk. She had a pleasant laugh and was enjoyable. She did well in her job and became secretary to the president so I had fewer opportunities to talk with her. Things changed and I’m not certain why. She seemed to take sick days more often and laugh less.

She was single, had no children, was attractive and, to the best of my knowledge, had no problems in life. As time went on she grew more angry for no apparent reason. Co-workers tried to reach out to her but she retaliated with a mysterious vengeance until everyone gave up and began avoiding her.

One morning the president arrived early and, upon unlocking the outer door to the office suite, found her slumped over her desk. On the desk was a note, a small pool of blood and the gun. In the note she left her library to my immediate supervisor. When he received the books he was amazed by the number of self-help books. Only a few appeared to have been read.

I remember when he started. He was a student worker in the mail room. He married another student and they had one son. After graduating he was hired as an admissions counselor and began the climb to the top. He would grab the phone before others had a chance to answer so he appeared to be the only one working. He continued manipulative tricks, took credit for everything and was promoted to a director. He was moving up but was making enemies on the way. Later he moved into another director’s position but it was time to pay the piper.

His wife left him and moved in with another man. She began teaching their son to call the new man father and to call his real father by his first name. He lost his house and his home. During an annual performance review his supervisor refused to give him a raise and told him the behaviors that must change – or else. He was angry and he had cause for his anger.

A year passed. At his next review he received good performance ratings and a double raise. He continued to change. A few years later when he left to take a job in anther state, he had the biggest send-off of all that I attended – more friends, more gifts, more laughter, more sincere wishes.

Life is sometimes confusing. Are people selfish? Do we face life alone or are others willing to help us?

It appears she created imaginary problems in her mind. She pushed people away and bought books. When friends tried to reach her she continued to push them away and retreated more deeply into her self.

He created his own problems but when people reached out he was more receptive and open. He accepted encouragement and help and friendship.

I wasn’t born with knowledge. I wasn’t given an instruction book. I don’t have the phone number for a help center. But – and it’s a huge but – I think people -- people who are sometimes selfish -- are basically willing to reach out to me in my times of anger, blindness, self-created troubles. No matter how bad it seems to get, I try to hold on to this belief and keep a small door open to let others in. I know deep inside they will come with comfort and encouragement and words of wisdom. They will come – not to take but to give to me the friendship that will help me see once again the beauty of life. For me, this belief makes the difference between hopelessness and hopefulness.


Blogger Buffalo said...

I rarely let someone in and when I do I often rue my lapse in judgment.

Then there have been some that have ignored my walls and found there own way in.

I don't want to live in a closed environment. Sometimes the pain from the past makes it seem infinitely safer.

12/15/2005 08:42:00 AM  
Blogger Gaye said...

I can relate to the young woman--wanting to deal with her problems privately--there's a sense of pride and stubbornness involved. I mean if we can't fix ourselves then we must be inadequate... I know this isn't a correct way of thinking, but I can relate to it. Sometimes when we're in a bad place letting people in can cause more problems; when they turn out to be less than what we thought; more problems now... I agree that letting people in is the answer; taking chances is a part of this life we're in... but it's pretty darn scarey.

12/15/2005 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger Bonita said...

What a sad story, but this type of thing occurs. Making ourselves open to others when we hurt is a humbling thing to do. Yet, that is when God's love is the most powerful. How otherwise are we to know it?

12/15/2005 09:19:00 PM  
Blogger George Breed said...

Where would we be without each other? We cannot exist except in a web of relationship. We call each other into being.

To hell with pain! Leap out! Or stroll, meander, peek, whatever is your syle.

A fellow told us in Zing Tao class yesterday that in the exercise of flowers blooming in your footprints as you walk, he experienced sunflowers with rapid growth and was propelled through the air! We all were laughing, himself the hardest.

Another man experienced fresh mint growing in his steps. We could almost smell it.

Bless all you bloggers! You do not hide in a closet!

12/16/2005 02:30:00 AM  

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