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July 8, 2014

Smoothing Differences

I think it is very important to smooth over the differences we have with others as it states in the Tao Te Ching. A grudge is a very heavy thing to carry. Unfortunately, I come from a family that never learned that truth. They carried hatred and grudges like they were coins in their pocket. But they were far weightier than a mere coin. There was the sister who for twenty years did not talk to the other sister or their father. There was the one side of the family that refused to talk to the other side over a silly trivial matter. There was the other sister who refused to talk to her brother over something the brother’s child said, not keeping in mind the little girl was only five years old and probably didn’t know what she was saying. For many years, I tried to patch up such disputes, but to no avail. One side or the other did not want to swallow their pride or admit they were wrong or just say I'm sorry. Such ridiculousness. After a while, I just couldn’t try anymore. It was so frustrating. I was embarrassed for them and their behaviors. Children don’t talk to parents, or parents to children. Neighbors who once were friends, are now like enemies. I know one woman who lay dying in a hospital who was urged by her friends to contact her family after many years of not doing so. She refused even though she could have greatly used help. She died alone and miserable. Her body was not found for days. It was such a sad ending. Pick up the phone and say hello to someone you have not spoken to recently. You do not have to become close, but keep the lines of communication open. Studies have shown that people who are angry live shorter lives than those who are not. It is a sad way to live, and a sadder way to die.