“No…! Really? That’s terrible…” It may well have been, but I doubt the subject of their gossip would have appreciated the evident relish with which the two women were discussing her misfortunes. I wasn’t eavesdropping, the strident voices were inescapable in the waiting room.
“Must be karma…” She folded her hands on her bag and sat back, nodding sagely.
“Yeah,” the lady almost licked her lips, “She must have done something really awful in a past life to deserve all that…” Here we go again, I thought, itching, as always, to jump into the conversation on that one subject, at least. Then, I suppose they would say the same of me…
It is no secret that I have fulfilled the criteria of the infamous ‘Chinese curse’ and lived in ‘interesting times’. What with one thing and another, life has never had chance to become monotonous, though some manifestations of ‘interesting’ I could well have lived without. Except, that I couldn’t, as to do so would have removed essential elements of the story that has shaped me and brought me to this moment. Without those ‘interesting times’, the person I think of as ‘me’, would not be me.
Have I ‘deserved all that’ as the two ladies were asserting about their absent friend? In all honesty, for a good proportion of it, I must accept the blame. Not necessarily through any conscious actions or omissions, but simply because life is a learning curve and we learn best from our mistakes…and of those, I have made plenty. Until we have made them for ourselves, we have little or no chance of ‘knowing better’ or behaving any differently, in spite of anything our elders may try and teach us. In that respect, our mistakes and errors of judgement can be seen as life’s opportunities for growth.
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