“They smile in your face
All the time they want to take your place
The backstabbers (backstabbers)” The O’Jays
My dad likes to tell a story of my 4-year-old reaction to my first visit to Lima’s Plaza de Armas back in the early 70s(before the city and park underwent a necessary rejuvenation.) He said there were several homeless people, many of them begging for spare change, and one woman bathing in the fountain before the police grabbed her. He said I looked around and told him I wanted to help each person. He said I asked why we couldn’t do that. I may not remember this incident but I know that my call to help others has shaped who I am and what I do for a living.
I lose sight of my purpose now and then. Sometimes the people I have helped have disappointed me or hurt me. This is especially hard when those I have mentored are the culprits.
I have weathered ingratitude and betrayal on many levels: stifled communication, verbal aggression, attacks on my reputation through gossip and lies.
|All About Eve|
My (trifling) relative still tells various extended family members how cold and aloof I have become towards her over the years even though I paid her debt to a creditor. Sometimes, all the unnecessary drama makes me want to give up on others altogether. Pero no pueden conmigo. I can’t and won’t change who I am because of others.
Forgiveness doesn’t come easy to me. It takes me weeks, months, years, even decades of reflection and prayer. It takes all my strength to remain civil and calm when I see these few people who have betrayed my trust. It takes a sense of humor and optimism. It takes a commitment to self-care. I move forward and continue reaching out the way I always have.