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8.13.2014

I, ME, MINE - the circle of selfishness


Walking from the garage to the house after work I heard the familiar WOOOFFFF of Mavis, the big huge Mastiff dog next door, as he bounded over to the fence between our properties.  I could hear 5-year old Morgan and one of her playmates in the side yard with her Mimi (that's what she calls her grandmother).  During the summer months Mimi comes to Morgan's house to babysit her and to monitor Morgan's teenage brother until their mom gets home from work. 
 
We met up with each other in the side yard.  Georgeanne (Mimi) is a delightful, free-spirited, joyful semi-retired teacher who calls me "kid".  "Kid" is peppered throughout all my conversations with her. That moniker strikes a deep sentimental love chord in me from some years past.  The mom of one of my best friends from high school also called me "kid" [she still does when she sees me.]  I leave Georgeanne's presence with a smile on my face and my heart just a bit lighter.  I'm not sure she knows fully her impact on others.  One day I will blurt that out to her.
 
This day she comments on my landscaping, tells me about a poisonous weed she sees growing between our houses [I immediately pull it out for fear Morgan may be tempted to eat a berry off it!].  Georgeanne shares that today was a day of fighting.  I look at Morgan and ask if she fought with her Mimi or with her friend.  Morgan, in her unusually distinct tone of voice that sounds akin to someone who has smoked for 30 years, said "No not with Mimi.  My friend and I fought all day."  I giggle inside at her voice, her body language and the fact that her friend was standing right there as she boldly made that declaration of a day of war.  I thought as she spoke that we "war" over things our whole life. 
 
 
I responded, "Morgan, let me guess what you fought over.  Ok?"  She nodded her head and held her Arial Barbie doll.  "Morgan, you wanted to do what you wanted to do and your friend wanted to do what she wanted to do.  Neither of you would stop wanting what you wanted either."  Mimi laughed and Morgan's eyes widened with amazement that I could know such a thing.  It's relatively easy to impress a 5 year old.  My sage wisdom no doubt went over her head.  "You will fight that war your whole life Morgan - learning to give in and let someone else get their way.  To let loose of always having to have it YOUR way."
 
War is always over selfishness at its core, isn't it?  We're either fighting for it or against it.
 
Injustice, crime, religion, geographic boundaries, rights, time and age are all things we fight for or against.   Sometimes though, we even war against ourselves. 
 
We can be our own worst enemy with thoughts, decisions, baggage, resentment we hold, patterns engrained or having to control it all.  We are Israel and Hamas.  We are Morgan and her friend. 
 
As those two little girls scampered off, seemingly at peace for the moment, I mused about how selfishness and love co-exist together.  Human nature is imperfect and rears its head time and time again.  But Love's ultimate mantra is that it never gives up - in, but never up.  One tries to push the other away to keep something.  The other reaches out to give something.  

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