Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Shoe is on the Other Foot!

Scott is a snorer and most of the time a mouth-breather. We've talked several times about his deviated septum and surgery, and finally decided to have this surgery on Monday. His surgery was scheduled for 2pm, so we were at the hospital by 1:30, he was hooked up to an IV at 2pm, and then we waited, and waited, and waited, and waited, and finally, at 6:15pm, Scott was wheeled into surgery!

I've not looked forward to this time - Scott being a terrible patient (picture caged lion), and me, not a patient caregiver (I want to be left alone, so surely he does as well). So, the shoe has been on the other foot today (Scott has been the ideal caregiver, and them's some big shoes I have to fill), and ask me on Monday how we did at this change of positions in our partner dance.

As I've been thinking about the possibilities of me being the caregiver, and with Scott 10 years older than me, that is a possibility, I've gone over the Golden Rule, many times: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. What does that exactly mean to me, to society?

Did you know that most cultures and religions have some variation of this theme? That theme is based on the idea of growth, safety, respect, and sharing. This is particularly important when we are in our most vulnerable times - birth, physical weakness, emotional frailty, death. We need safety, respect, and someone sharing in the carrying of our burden.

Interesting though, most cultures draw a line as to whom they want to treat with this reciprocity. I'll be good to you IF you'll be good to me. I'll respect you IF you respect me. Or, IF you believe the way I do, then I will respect you. I don't think my creator threw the IF into this idea of reciprocal behavior. I think I/WE/YOU/ME did that. Is it too Norman Rockwell'ian of me to think that we could all get along - all give and receive, without concern of what we would be giving or receiving in return, because we would get what we give? Or do we already get what we give? I'm not talking you believe the way I do, but accept the fact that we both believe differently, but different is dandy - I can still treat you with kindness.

Call it Karma: an action seen as bringing good or bad results, either in this life or in another life. Call it a childhood chant: what goes around, comes around. Or from a physics perspective - for each action there is an equal and opposite reaction. 

So, do I serve graciously, care gently, share generously because that is what I do, believe, or because I don't want to be hit with the bad Karma card? Does Scott's generosity come from his own goodness, or from his hope that IF he ever needs my simple kindness he'll receive it? Am I a kind giver because I want to be, or because I may be on the receiving end some day, and I want that receiving to be as good as I gave?

Why do you give? How do you receive? To whom do you offer up the Golden Rule? 

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