Monday, October 06, 2003

A spoon of one´s own medicine

One of the biggest lessons that I was taught as a child was "do unto others as you wish to be done unto you"... It´s a lesson that came from all the authority figures who tried to give me an education.. my parents, my teachers, my priest... they all taught me that I should never do something to someone else that I wouldn´t like to be done unto me...
An important lesson but one that we often forget as we grow older and so often when we get hurt we wish that the person that did us wrong knew what it felt like to be in our shoes.
An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a spoon of their own medicine or sweet revenge... call it what you may but the law of nature (Or God´s justice) will always prevail... the saying that "what goes around, comes around" is more than just a myth... it´s a reality... sooner or later what you dish out will be dished out to you and you will taste your own recipe.
One of my greatest satisfactions when I was at school was to see the big bully that used to pick on me accidently wet his pants. Because he had humiliated me so many times in front of my friends, it brought sweet pleasure to see him feel humiliated by his own doing... As I grew older the sweet feeling of pleasure started to fade away... suddenly I didn´t enjoy seeing Charlene being teased for tripping because chances are, she didn´t remember teasing me when I had tripped two weeks before and all she could feel at that moment was the hurt and humiliation of the moment.
That thought hit me two days ago when once again I watched nature imposing it´s law on a close friend of mine. Picture this: A group of close friends go out to watch fireworks that are displayed, after the show they go for a couple of drinks and then decide to drive down to a nearby club to go dance off some energy. On the way to the car we all walk in two groups three´s and suddenly when we look up... the group in front of us are missing...
"Hell, they probably took a different route and we´ll see them by the car"
After reaching the car and not seeing them we all waited a while seeing as they probably took a longer route... After a good time of waiting and Nothing we started dialling their cellphone number and... surprise... surprise... they were all off.
"Well, perhaps they got lost" and like a bunch of idiots three of us girls went driving around looking for three lost boys.
To our "suprise" they were found by a hotdog stand with lame excuses saying that they hadn´t found us by the car etc... etc... Highly peeved but in no mood to fight, we organised to meet at the club that initially had been our destination, just as soon as we dropped a friend off at home and got back. To cut the long story short... they ditched us, not to mention without so much as an sms apologising for their rendevouz without us. The next day we found out that their destination had been one of towns sleaziest bars where all the easy girls are found...
Forgiveness is divine but to forgive one must forget and hurt as I was, there was no way forgiveness was going to be bestowed unless the three went down on their knees, begged for forgiveness and kissed my feet!!!! Their behavior was the kind that I wouldn´t do to someone I didn´t like... never mind to a friend! and intoxication is simply no excuse!
As punishment, I decided to bring an old custom back from school.... the silent treatment!!!!
No smses, no e-mails, no missed-calls, not so much as one hello... I managed full on silent treatment for exactly.... uhm.... ten days! (Okay so I wasn´t gonna go as far as being rude and not saying hello when they came past... but it was only common courtesy and nothing more)
I wasn´t going to break my silent treatment so easy (or at least without scratching someone´s eyes out) but when confronted which slumpy arms, droopy eyes and a sad looking face, all my defenses fell straight to the floor and my weak female instinct was to comfort someone who had obviously been run over by the great big bus of life and was left licking his wounds.
I still had enough pride to appear on defense but I did figure out that my dear friend had most definitely been kicked by life´s huge boot and was suffering the disappointment that comes with the impact of life´s slap to the face. He told me that he had been disappointed by people... in other words, someone had let him down just as he had let me down just a week before.
This is probably where you ask yourself, did I start dancing around singing "What goes around, comes around boet!"
did I shrugg it off and say "you only get what you deserve?"
maybe I looked him straight in the eye and said "tough luck, last week it was me, this week it´s your turn"
Although all of the above went through my mind for a fraction of a second... the truth is that I felt just as shit as he did at that moment. I felt awful for whatever that person or people had done to him and I once again felt hurt for what he´d done to me... intentionally or not.
I guess revenge isn´t that sweet?
I didn´t quite have a reply for him at that moment but I did send him a message later saying "Cheer up! Believe it or not, the sun will shine, it will light up your soul and warm your heart even though your mood might not change, u´ll still feel a hell of a lot better than today. Last piece of free advice: You can´t change people and their attitudes, just ur own, chose another emotion."
Wether that message made a difference or not, I might never know but from one hurt human being to another I tried to share understanding. Understanding that because we´re not perfect we all hurt each other at some point or another...
I don´t know wether i´ve truly forgiven my friend or not... I do know that i´ve let that situation go... and time will tell how our friendship will break or grow from this incident. What I did realise though is that placing people in your shoes doesn´t always result in much, I really doubt that my friend remembered how he´d disappointed me just a week before and even if i´d reminded him, I doubt that it would´ve made either of us feel better. I guess that in this great school of life, all we can really do is be there for each other when the teacher smacks our hands.

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