The Character of Being Human

Posted on : 29-05-2008 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized


What if you were the last human interaction someone had before they died? Would you feel comfortable with how you related with that person?  More...

Over Memorial Day Weekend, my husband and I celebrated sixteen years of marriage!  We took a drive out to  Enchanted Rock (where we were married) which is located just outside of Fredericksburg, Texas.  After our hike up to the top of the rock and back down again we decided to explore the scenic route home and catch the wildflower trails.  Because we couldn’t figure out how to get to the road we wanted,  on the way out of the park we pulled up along side a band of Boy Scouts who were unloading their camping gear for the weekend.  We hailed one of the Scout leader’s who walked over to our car with a quizzical look on his face.  He reminded me of my friend Quinn, only heftier.  Both my husband and I were miffed that, being a Scout Leader, he couldn’t figure out the map either, but he did seem pre-occupied with the responsibility of 20 preteens and that there was something else distracting him. Nevertheless, we thanked him and went on our way.
Today as I passed over the obituaries, I saw his photo. Evidently he had died “suddenly and unexpectedly” on that same camping trip.  I don’t know that there was anything that I could have done differently with this guy and perhaps this is just a wee little reminder of how precious life is but I sure do hope that I smiled at him, even though he couldn’t help us—he being a Troop Leader and all.  I had noticed that the color of his face seemed ashen, but again, I marked it off as being hot as hell at 3pm in the afternoon and having a gaggle of adolescent boys raring to go. I’d be weary too!!  Still—what do you reserve from a stranger and share with a friend if it could possibly save their life?

I thought about all of this on my run this morning as I reflected on my friend Patti’s visit with the Tibetan Monks recently here in Austin. They told her that it is all “NOW” an eternal now, a continuous now.  The character I want to have is to treat everyone who comes across my path with respect and kindness no matter how fleeting the moment and no matter its importance.  We just never know.  Halfway through my run, I saw a young adult female deer that usually runs from me but this time she seemed to know who I was and she stopped eating and walked a little bit towards me as I stroked her soothingly with my words.  It took about two seconds but I think we both feel a little better and I know I’ve invested trust in her for the next time we run across each other.

What kind of character do you want to have?

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