I was talking with an acquaintance the other day when he suggested that it must be hard working at the big box store that I do because of the difference in consciousness. The implication was that because I had done so much “work” on myself, it would be hard relating to my colleagues. At first I was angered: how arrogant; how pompous. Then I was embarrassed. It wasn’t too many months ago that I thought something of the same. I told him how I felt. We talked it out but I don’t think I convinced him—when one feels they are on top or, in this case, more “aware” than others, what desire have they to change their story? If it was just him, I wouldn’t mind so much but the problem is he is not alone in his opinion. As I said above, I was under similar assumptions until I had to face my biases left , right, front and centre. 2012 was definitely my year of learning.
So, I want to acknowledge my teachers of 2012 who thankfully helped to bring me down a notch or two.
My colleagues at work who showed me that just because one works at a minimum wage job doesn’t mean they are unaware, not smart or lacking in some way or another. That being “conscious” has many faces and sometimes it is just about helping someone laugh when you are both treading water in an attempt to stay afloat.
The old high school buddies and past associates who happened upon me whilst at work. Their lack of judgment and genuine happiness at seeing me (regardless of what I was doing) taught me humility and the grace to handle future encounters.
The customers who laughed at my jokes and shared profound moments. They taught me that when one is present, time shared is measured in quality, not length.
And those who showed me in countless ways that the gift of seeing and hearing another has infinite and joyful reverberations, however subtle; however bright and bold.
Sometimes I want, so whole heartedly, to have all my lessons be done with—to crawl into a hole and cry “enough!” But no one ever said that being human was easy: our choices lead us into places we never imagined or wanted to go in our idyllic dreams of youth. These teachers of 2012 opened the door for a more compassionate and self aware me to enter. And to them, I give thanks.