Posts Tagged ‘life’s journey’

I was raised a Catholic and unwittingly consumed all the usual religious teachings over my formative years, including the most ridiculous of all: ‘turn the other cheek’. For years I think I actually believed that heaven would be attainable if I gave the horrible people I met (between the nice ones that is) the opportunity to be horrible…again.

My Zambian friend once said to me that I had the patience of Job. She was right, I do…or did. Most of my blog readers would know this year has been monumental for me. In January, I was diagnosed with bowel cancer and have spent most of this year fighting through some pretty hard treatment yards. When I look back on the person I was before cancer, and now, a lot has changed.

One of the most significant of these changes is in my tolerance of people who offend, who are rude, who have no self-reflection compass, who are arrogant and thoughtless or those who believe competitiveness and ruthless self advancement (of the materialistic kind) is ok. Just like Gordon Gekko’s “greed is good” creed, ego-based behaviour that seeks to dominate or compensate for an undiagnosed failing within is not excusable or ok.

Post cancer diagnosis and treatment, that good little Catholic girl has finally been erased. There is no more ‘turn the other cheek’ for me these days. Life is too short, and peace of mind and happiness are gifts that should be fiercely protected.

And the Gordon Gekkos of this world? Well let’s just say they can make friends with like minded people. It’s one party I won’t be lining up to attend.

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When I was a child living on a farm, I used to walk on sheep trails

never knowing where they were going.

 

And in that wandering moment, the destination never mattered.

It was the path and where it headed, that always caught my curious eye.

 

Meandering trails cut through grass and reeds, like they were only meant for me.

And I found interest in the deviations and the landscapes – down gullies and up rocky inclines

– it seemed like a world in itself, for a child’s footsteps and an imagination

…that stretched to the horizon.

 

The herd always trod the same path, to water or to feed. I’m not sure why they did that,

but I guess it was safe for others to follow.

 

Sheep are not the bravest creatures, shying away from man’s touch. And it’s no wonder,

given they are bred for food and never live a long life.

 

But it struck me, as I walked those trails, that one sheep had to lead and make that path for others to follow.

One sheep among thousands, took a brave and curious step.

 

That’s the trailblazer. Half brave and half curious, to point their instinct towards the destination,

and with those footsteps taken, others will follow, towards  a place they need to go.

 

One step at a time based only on instinct. One trailblazer, and things change for the better, for the rest.

The greatest good and the sum of us. That’s the trailblazer, with the courage others haven’t got.