I have been called naive. As tough as I can seem on the outside, and as much as I have witnessed in my life, some people have told me I have a naivety in me. It stems from my ability to see the good in people. Peter used to say I believe people too much. I trust too much. He told me that is why my feelings get hurt so easily. He was right…to a degree. I did. I do. I trust there is goodness in most people, only in some cases, circumstances, upbringing, the world they live in, covers up the good. And we may or may not know their reasons, but they are there, deep inside them.
Do I believe in evil? Yes. I do. We’ve all studied evil throughout history. We have seen evil leaders right now in all areas of life – religion, politics, corporate. And, if we have lived long enough. we have all witnessed evil. So, while I do think most people are good, you bet I think evil exists in some. Only I think evil exists in small amounts.
Why did I start with this sermon, I mean post, like this today? Well, yesterday, the replacement of my furnace did not go as planned. Long story short, they’re coming back on Tuesday. (No worries, I still have heat.) Through this exasperating experience, I witnessed the kindness in the young men who came to install the furnace. I boohooed in front of them, releasing the frustrations of yet another Peter-thing I had to handle. One of them reached over and grasped my hand telling me his mother had just died. There was empathy in this gesture.
These young men’s supervisor was nice to me as well. He told them to give me his personal cell phone number so he can work with me to find a solution. I was touched that he not only trusted me with his personal cell, but spent his time to help me figure out a plan. A cynic would say he did so because he wanted my business. I don’t believe that. I trusted my best interest was at heart for many reasons, too long to go into. Anyway, within an hour, and a phone call to my brilliant designer friend, Lisa to calm me down, I solved the situation. (Besides her compassion, Lisa is a problem-solver, one I needed then and there.)
When I moved some things into Discovery, (my apartment for those catching up) the young men, kids actually, were very kind and patient to me. I cried in front of them as well. I mean, I don’t have to tell my story, but it spills out of me no matter how much I try to suck it back. And these men listened to it and were compassionate. They left me thinking, the world is not going to hell in a handbasket with our future being represented by young people like them. Were they looking for a big tip? Maybe, although I don’t know if you could fake their type of respect and gentleness. I know. I could just be naive.
There have been other examples of kindness given to me by good people since Peter died. My financial advisor has offered so many times to step in and help me in ways beyond his role with finances. He extended a helping hand with moving, buying a car, and getting my house in order. The mechanic Peter went to for years, wrote on the bottom of my bill “we miss him. Sorry for your loss”. My beautiful hairdresser cut my hair for free because she thought it might make me feel better. The clerk at the grocery store who saw my tears, heard my sobs, the week after Peter died when I went out on my own, offered words of comfort. The leasing management in my apartment was extremely nice to me as my story spilled out to them. And on and on and on the list goes.
On this list are my friends. God, I can’t even begin to comprehend how my life this past almost five months would have looked without them. I am not talking about my tribe that came running, but those friends who I don’t see so often but are part of mine and Peter’s story. They came when I needed them by extending a lunch and dinner invitations, asking to join them in trivia night, sending a meal. coming over with a gift, surprising me with flowers, stopping by for a hug, and texting me sporadically and just at the right moments. They are the ones who showed their goodness when I needed to see it the most.
And of course, there are my tribe, my older sisters, my Dudak family, and my children who held me up, hold me up when I shatter. I already knew of their goodness. I already experienced so much of it in my life. I would think I drained their reserve, yet they keep on surprising me with their compassion and kindness. I know…I really know…I owe my strength to them.
So, yeah, I believe in the good of people. It’s not just based on faith. I’ve seen the goodness in so many people since Peter died. I’ve seen first hand how gracious and kind and understanding people can be when there is a wounded person among them. I have thrown out trust to the Universe when I needed a service, a repair, a need. And I am sure, because of my years of living, I am sure, there may come a time when I get screwed. I am not that naive. And I will always wear my armor of street smarts to protect myself as much as I can knowing I may get hurt. But to the core of me, I will always feel, I will always trust, for the most part, that people are good…to the core of them. I’ve seen it. I’ve experienced it. I am surviving because of it. It’s how I roll now…without Peter.