Remember that old saying, never judge a book by its cover?
Well that holds true for lots of things in life. And there’s always a lesson to be learned and growth and expansion to be had. Even when you’re in your early teens.
Heaven might not be what you think
My brother had a friend. Well, okay he had more than one friend, but this one…wow. This one was tall dark and handsome, with movie star looks and smouldering eyes to boot. In short he was totally cute. They were in training together in the Royal Air Force so I only saw him once in a blue moon, until the ‘long weekend’.
Oh heaven had smiled on me and all was right with the world. Iain was bringing him to spend the weekend. Barry, even his name made my heart leap, or it could be something I ate I suppose, but I think I’ll lean towards the more romantic concept.
Finally Saturday arrived, as did they.
Listening pays off
What shall I do, what shall I say, how shall I act? You can tell, I knew nothing, but that was about to change in a hurry.
All went well, partly because I was too shy to engage in any conversation at all, and partly because Barry wasn’t even slightly interested in Iain’s little sister. Even though I thought I was pretty cute!
So I listened…unbelievable as it sounds, it’s true for those who know me well…I didn’t become a big talker until much later in life!
Barry was a master at sweeping statements…you know the kind that begin with ‘everyone always’ or ‘everyone knows’, or ‘everyone believes’.
Hmm. That wasn’t quite so attractive. He started to pontificate about the middle east, the far east and I’m sure he included the north and south and west of everywhere.
I thought, wow he’s travelled as much as we have. Turns out, not so much. He hadn’t been there at all. In fact he’d never left the country, but to hear him talk he’d been everywhere. There was nothing he didn’t know about. Nothing he hadn’t done. Nothing.
Mr know-it-all not so attractive after all
Barry didn’t ever mention that he’d read it somewhere, or heard from someone, it was all spoken as a first person experience, although it wasn’t.
He didn’t even say ‘this is what I think’, or ‘I believe,’ everything was as he said. Should anyone have an opinion that differed from his either they were wrong, or he’d redirect the conversation. Actually, it was less a conversation and more a monologue, because once he got going there was no stopping him.
Barry was a bore. He had no interest in conversation, he just needed to speak. He wasn’t quite so dashing after all.
I later told my mum I thought he was an egotistic jerk who just needed to be right and hear himself talk and she pointed out to me, in her oh so gentle way, that if I persisted in that image of Barry, I’d be keeping him and me in that prison of consciousness.
I learned, mostly from what my mum told me:
Barry, really didn’t have a high opinion of himself, in fact he was probably more critical of himself than anyone could be. He didn’t love himself.
What? He’s absolutely in love with the sound of his voice, I protested about here.
Love really is the only true power, and any power we have, equals the love we hold.
Don’t condemn, awaken others by seeing them as they would wish to be.
Okay, okay, I admit I didn’t really get all of this at the time…but I did learn it eventually.
Oh and I had to learn this more than once in my life.
Love is the power that changes and supports and as to the degree we open our hearts to others, we do it for ourselves.
Sigh…there were so many things to learn and to practice.
Encourage one another.