Home » Reflections » Lessons yet to learn

Lessons yet to learn

So I haven’t blogged in a few weeks. You all know how that goes. Anyway, here’s a quick summary of what’s been on my mind:

I belong to a small group at my church through the Just Faith program. The nine of us share the desire to become more compassionate, help others, find more meaning in life, and strengthen our faith. I never would have joined a group like this while I was in school, because I always felt I was too busy. I never really thought about personal growth; I was too focused on classes, swim team, and my peers. Which is not a bad thing. But my outlook has changed a lot over the last several months, and I’m grateful that I was inspired and available to join this group.

I still struggle to do the right thing, because the right thing doesn’t always present itself in black-and-white. While I want to give money every time a cashier asks me “Would you like to donate to such-and-such today?”, I have to say no because at my age, it’s important that I save the little money I make to secure my own future. When people I know make ignorant and incompassionate comments about those less fortunate than us, I bite my tongue because starting a debate won’t solve anything. And though being nice to everyone seems like the right thing to do, it often backfires. Especially for me, because men tend to mistake politeness for flirting, and I end up dealing with unwanted attention from all the wrong guys.

But I’m working on it. Sometimes I wish I had a life coach telling me exactly what the right thing to do is. Not just for others, but for myself. Figuring it out on my own is the best way though. While browsing at Barnes and Nobles one day, I read the first chapter of the memoir “Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake”, in which Anna Quindlen writes about this idea:

I would tell my twenty-two-year-old self that what lasts are things so ordinary she may not even see them: family dinners, fair fights, phone calls, friends. But of course the young woman I once was cannot hear me, not just because of time and space, but because of the language, and the lessons, she has yet to learn. It’s a miracle: somehow over time she learned them all just the same, by trial and error.


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