Knowing your own darkness
is the best method for dealing
with the darknesses of other people.
Okay, so I know I’m an old codger and that many in the world think that as a demographic we old folk are just too old-fashioned to “get it” whatever “it” is that they think they have a better handle on than we do. So let’s consider for a moment the primordial “seven deadly sins.” And afterwards, feel free to let me know when and if any of them have changed: 1.) pride/vanity, 2.) lying tongues, 3.) the shedding of innocent blood by the hands of others, 4.) hearts that devise evil acts, 5.) feet that are swift in running to mischief, 6.) false witnesses who speak lies, 7.) ones who sow discord among their fellow man. Are these not things that have existed since the beginning of time? Have we not all encountered and commited many of them in our own lives? Have we not all been deeply hurt, desperately lonely, overwhelming despondent, and/or bitterly betrayed at some point even by those who were supposed to be family and/or friends? Have we not all had our hearts broken and almost ripped out of our very flesh by grief? Have we not all braved “dark nights” of the soul at least once in our lives? Have we not all experienced suffering and pain, both physical and emotional? Have we not all been lied to and cheated on in some way? Have we ourselves not been repeatedly mischievous and sinful? If the answer to these questions is not only yes, but hell yes, then what is it that ANYONE, regardless of age or gender, doesn’t get? Except maybe contrition and forgiveness, kindness and sincerity, compassion and grace, finding the strength to get up again and again after being knocked down over and over again. Life is freakin’ hard, and trust me when I say that you guys who supposedly “have a handle on things” which we old folks don’t understand, you’re going to find that the “hard” which you perceive growing old to be is not even close to the reality of what it is. So why don’t we all, young and old alike, try to learn to trust again, to hope again, to believe again, to be kind again, to be accepting again, to be loving again, to be authentic again and to do all those things with the greatest sincerity we can muster. For if we know our own darknesses, should we not attempt to be a light in another’s darkness instead of increasing their darkness? And one last thing, if someone offers you all these things, then accept them graciously as the gift they were meant to be and embrace them as well as the giver regardless of what’s happened to you in the past!
Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck. ~Proverbs 1 8-9 ✝
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