Friday, July 18, 2014

sort of really just only for me...

Antelope island,  last night.   From Magna, utah. #igutah #mygrandpaishome #whereigrewup

I've never been a fan of the word "fault'. defines fault as:

1.  a defect or imperfection; flaw; failing: a fault in the brakes; a fault in one's character.
2.  responsibility for failure or a wrongful act: It is my fault that we have not finished
3.  an error or mistake: a fault in addition.
4.  a misdeed or transgression: to confess one's faults.
Looking at these definitions, fault generally implies that something has gone wrong, or someone has done something wrong.  But fault also looks for someone, or something to blame for a situation that has headed south, ended poorly, or hurt another person.
Like I said, I'm not a big believer in fault.  Because with fault, there is always blame.  And blame? Blame doesn't really get you anywhere very fast does it?  All blame gets you, generally speaking, is anger and resentment, and that icky taste in your mouth like you get after you've thrown-up but before you've had the chance to brush your teeth. 
Rather than think in terms of fault and blame, I like to think in terms of responsibility and ownership.  You see, in fault, you are always looking for someone to blame for what has happened to you, or for what you did to someone else.  With responsibility, you are accepting ownership of your actions and preparing to take the necessary steps to right a wrong, march on a new path, start a new day.
It's sort of like that poem by Robert Frost, "The Road Not Taken"
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;       
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,       
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.       
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference
I had to memorize this poem in junior high and the last stanza often makes it's way from the murky depths of my memory to the forefront of my mind.  I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference... There has to be something said for learning to leave fault and blame aside for responsibility and ownership, right?  As hard as those life lessons were (and are!), we take them, suck them in, and spit them out, better on the other side.  I can think of several experiences from when I was in school, when I was a teacher, and my life as an adult and parent, where those life lessons have chewed me up and I had two roads to travel on - two paths to take.  The path where I could blame someone else for my mistakes, or the path where I could take responsibility and fix the wrong.

Henry David Thoreau said, when he was living at Walden Pond, in Connecticut, that he wanted to live deep, and suck out all the marrow of life.  And not when he had come to die, discover that he had not lived.  How do we do that?  How do we live deep and suck out all that our lives have to offer?  For some of us, it's our family and maybe for others it's our work.  Whatever it is, we have to find it and do it to our best ability, because who wants to be that person on their death bed saying, "I wish I had spent more time with my kids and grandchildren!"  or "I wish I would have stayed by his bedside instead of going to work!"  Whatever it is, we don't want to be that person.  We don't want blame to follow us.  

Maybe that brings a new word to the table.  Opportunity.

We don't have opportunity if we have faulty and blame.  But we do have opportunity with responsibility and ownership.  It abounds with the latter.  Our lives are up to us, and the choices that we make.  Some of those choices bring us joy, others heartache.  Sometimes, we make dastardly choices and manage to get through by the skin of our teeth and other times, we make choices with a conscious that is so in tune, that miraculous things happen.  I'd like to be abounding with the latter on this one as well.

Our world, especially for those of us with faith, regardless of all the bad that exists, is full of justice and mercy and understanding.  Those were gifts to us from Christ, that we can have every day, even if we don't deserve them.  The kindness of strangers gives this to us, as do our families and friends, our communities, and even our legal system.  It's our job, to take these things, and do the best we can in our own lives with them, and in turn, try to better the lives of others.

I want to be one of those people who tries to see the good, to see the small miracles, the tender mercies, if you will, in my every day life and be thankful and grateful for those blessings and joys.  I want to know that good or bad, things happen for a reason and have the faith and understanding in mercy and justice to realize that there is a light and a goodness on the other side of heartache and sadness, but that it may take a long time to find it.  I hope to be one of those people that can always try to see the good in someone, even if it doesn't feel like there is any good to be seen.  

I want to always seek opportunity.


japetersen said...

Goof essay!

Bing Math said...

Yes, goof.

I like your background.

Bing Math said...

And good.


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