Try a little benevolence

I have recently refused someone’s request that I acknowledge how miserable her life has been and that I’ve had a hand in that misery. It is interesting when someone’s memories vary widely from your own, festering into cesspools that spill somewhere beyond their personal horizons.

I strain to understand. “No, actually, I don’t see it.” I resist the urge to tell them to get off the cross.

Fascinating. I’m sure somewhere in academia and science there is a study of personalities that see themselves as constantly persecuted. Everyone has slighted them. The “if onlies” are endless, as is the laundry list of everything you’ve said or done that could be twisted into a wildly rabid dust bunny that hides under their bed and has taken over their soul. Not only fascinating, but tragic.

It is only a matter of time before someone throws up their arms in exasperation and  severs the relationship, simply to survive. My personal cure for the self-flagellation-self-pity parade is benevolence: Turning my attention away from myself and looking after others, like family members, friends, and total strangers. The best cure for the selfish indulgence of victimhood is rescuing others, without expecting anything in return except the sweet, small feeling inside one’s heart.

Then why not look after this particular person? Indeed. It cannot be done. They choose to carry the burden they say they loathe. It is far better to wallow in misery than it is to lose the baggage and salvage what goodness remains in life.

Sometimes we must hold back and let them rescue themselves.

@postaday 41, @postaday2011

By lavagal

Hawaii Kai wife and mom. Melanoma Stage 3a Cancer survivor. English Language Arts teacher, English Learners Coordinator, and Paraprofessional Tutor. Super sub teacher. Dormant triathlete. Road cyclist and Masters swimmer. Gardener. Mrs. Fixit. Random dancer. Music Curator. A teenager trapped in an aging body. Did you know 60 is the new 40? It is.


  1. You’ve hit the proverbial nail smack, dab on the head. Victims choose to be victims. They are the only ones who can rescue themselves. “You’ve got to accentuate the positive. Eliminate the negative. Don’t mess with Mr. (Ms?)In Between.” Or so wrote Johnny Mercer!

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