Don’t let any person bring you so low as to hate them. –Booker T. Washington
I’m a little bit crabby about money just now: we’re living pretty close to the bone during my healing process, and at our age, that can be a bit hard to take. Money tends to be a big issue for me, anyway: I tend to ascribe far more meaning to it than it ought to have, but we do indeed live in a society that encourages us to do that…and sometimes, LIFE just has to swoop down and teach me a good lesson.
Last week, I ordered some Fair Trade, Organic coffee, the kind we’ve always purchased, at a good price, from an online business I’ve patronized for several years. Now, somehow–and I continue to believe it’s not my fault–the business sent the coffee to an old address of ours, and when we called to find out what was going on, they basically refused to discuss the matter, and said it was our fault and they weren’t going to do one damned thing about it. We went back and forth with them for several days, and disputed the charge on our Visa, etc., etc., and there was much rancor on both sides. Clearly, the basis of all this was FEAR. We feel rather guilty about most any treat we give ourselves (and I shouldn’t be drinking coffee anyway, darn it), and are budgeted so closely that we couldn’t afford to lose the cost of ten pounds of coffee. We felt resentful that, having given so much of our money to this company, they were not interested in finding a reasonable solution to all this. As for the company, I would imagine it was about fear for them, also, as they said several times that no matter what way this was resolved, they were going to have a loss. Clearly, to them, not losing the money for ten pounds of coffee was desirable to losing the business of people who had ordered from them monthly since they started their business.
Anyway, we were fuming about this, having contacted the former residence and receiving no cooperation, and the whole thing was at a standstill. On our way to have dinner with our children and our new and lovely grandchild, we were, as I say, fuming, when something most interesting happened: there was a thumping on the roof of the car, and I looked back and out the side window, to see the case of our digital camera hanging from the closed window. We quickly pulled over, and it was evident that the camera had been put on the top of the car while we packed a cooler at Costco, and left there. To us, it was amazing that the camera was unharmed, and that we didn’t lose it altogether.
Then it struck us that there was a lesson in this: we lost ten pounds of coffee, but we didn’t lose a very expensive, digital camera. It’s all relative. It’s all LIFE. One would think I would have gotten this one down prior to this, but evidently not. On the other hand, I can remember when I would have been absolutely hysterical over some such situation, when now I was, mostly, just quietly grumbling and grinding my teeth.
But Mr. Washington, above, is right: the thing that strikes most deeply here, is that if we let someone else make us hate them, we’re the loser. Gandhi said that the only way we can win over our enemy is to love him more than we love ourselves. I have a long way to go on this path of love.