Friday, January 14, 2011

Kind Of The Same Thing

When I was a child, my family experienced an unjust professional hardship. It evolved into an incredibly blessed experience. We became closer as a family; we practiced Roman Catholicism together. We said novenas and rosaries as a family. All 6 of us gathered together on bended knees with bowed heads and faithfilled hearts. Even to this day we greet each other's worries with echoed phrases: "I'll pray for you." "You're on my rosary." "I'll start a novena."

It was a bittersweet year. We learned the power of prayer, the difficulty of poverty, and the injustice of false accusations.

Years later I encountered a woman whose family shared equal involvement.

Mutual friends set up a meeting. I was told to be cautious. "She's afraid to meet you. She's fragile."

She told me she felt apprehension to meet me because of my powerful personality.

I sat across the table from her. I guarded my words. I muted my memories. I left my recollections unsaid and unshared. She recalls a different past than I do. I've passed; she has not moved past.

Today I considered her.

It was unjust to put such a burden on me. No man should have to take more care in conversation than kindness and civility. No man should be required to anticipate reaction before his action. Each human being is responsible for his own reaction.

The difference between kindness and charity is reciprocation.

My act was charitable.

She repudiated any kindness. She ignored that our experience was two of a kind.