Heat All Around

Monday, October 3, 2011

JEALOUSY AMONG THE RANKS

When Egos erupt, cruelty, untruths, and diabolical dishonor take over.

From the time we are children, we are confronted with the bitter enmity of another's jealousy. I remember a time when I was in the third grade. One of my dad's sisters had gone to Rome, bought me this intricately carved ivory rosary and had it blessed, I guess in some kind of a mass blessing by the Pope.

I was proud as punch of that rosary.

My parents believed strongly in a private Catholic School education for us, the Holmes heathens. :-), and saying the rosary was a part of the daily curriculum. When Aunt Teddy and Uncle Ralph gave me my gift I was proud as a peacock and took it to school with me. Sister Michael Marie held it aloft in her spindly hands and told my classmates the story of its blessed state. Even though I was a child, I could see SHE really wanted to keep it, but honesty and something I guess about wearing her habit, made her finally hand it back to me.

I placed it with utmost care in my lift top desk and lined up for recess.

Upon returning, my rosary was gone. Later that day I saw it in Susan Lynch's possessive hands. I caught Sister Michael Marie's attention when the daily afternoon orangeade was delivered. In a low voice I told her Susan took my rosary.

Sister Michael Marie gave me such a sneer and chastized me eloquently about accusing others without proof. Had sister Michael Marie checked, the proof was on Susan Lynch's person, but without a picture or the word of another witnessing Susan's theft, I'd gone from victim to liar and sinner in a heartbeat.

Later, while waiting to board our buses, Susan slyly revealed my rosary to me, clenched in her possessive fist, and laughed. "Mine!" she whispered just loudly enough for me to hear.

I learned a lesson about jealousy, greed, and lying that day. I obviously do not tell the truth very well in the face of jealousy and greed. I do not understand jealousy, nor greed.

The other thing I learned, sadly, is not to let others see those things that are special to me.

Time marches on and life throws its many

spitballs at us. You would think maturity brings compassion and grace...but it doesn't. Is it because we now know the stakes are higher, so do not think twice about destroying or trying to destory others ONLY because they've acquired what we still struggle for?

I don't know. It's a paradox that has been driven home over and over since I became a parent. Two children, born from the same womb, yet polar opposites. One happy to see all the things we have, the other determined no matter how, to get the things we don't.

It's hard being a parent who cannot figure out what she did differently to bring about two such diverse attitudes in the two people she loves most.

What I really have the hardest time relating to is the jealousy that exists among my own kind...writers. We toil over our words creating worlds that have happy endings or teach valuable lessons only to turn around and systematically attack those we perceive have wronged us because their words call to more readers...for now. I approach it from the attitude of joy...their success is keeping the readers coming back for more...and maybe one day in that search the readers will find me too. Hope should spring eternal, shouldn't it?

I cannot nor will I apologize for being someone who writes faster, putting out more volume. None of us can force our inner voices to do more or less than it wants to do.

In the end, who does the jealousy really hurt? Yes, for a moment or two I feel twinges, but I am too busy to give your dishonor too much attention, so I move on. You? You stew in the gravy of your own unhappiness and plot your next volley...meanwhile you are missing the greater picture with all its beauty and joy.

Jealousy among the ranks...shouldn't we leave it behind along with childhood?

Just my personal thought for the day.

2 comments:

Kat said...

Do you have even the smallest notion of how much I love and cherosh you?

Lin said...

I love you just as much back, Sweetie. Thank you for being the light always illuminating my tunnel.