Friday, January 4, 2008

It behooves us to travel softly...

The Old Guitar Player

Oh my. I was browsing in a collection of quotes on silence and I discovered this by an unknown author:
Life wounds all of us. At best there is sorrow enough to go round. Yet because the deepest wounds are those of the soul and hidden to mortal sight, we keep hurting each other day by day, inflicting wounds that time mercifully scars over. But the scars remain, ready at a touch to throb angrily and ache again with the old gnawing wild pain. You remember that day in school when the teacher laughed? You were only a little fellow, shy and silent, sitting in the shadow of the big boys, wistfully looking toward the day when you would shine as they did. That day you were sure your chance had come. You were sure that you had just what the teacher wanted on the tip of your tongue, and you jumped up and shouted it out loudly and eagerly, triumphantly - and you were very, very wrong. There followed a flash of astonishment, an instant of dreadful silence, and then the room rang with mirth. You heard only the teacher's laughter, and it drowned your heart. Many years have gone over head since that day, but the sight of a little lad trudging along to school brings it back, and the old pain stirs and beats against the scar. You cover it over, hush it to quiet once more with a smile. "I must have been funny. She couldn't help it." But you wish she had. And there was that time when your best friend failed you. When the loose-tongued gossips started the damaging story and he was pressed for a single word in your defense, he said, "Oh, he's all right. Of course, he's all right, but I don't want to get mixed up in this thing. Can't afford it. Have to think of my own name and my own family, you understand. Good fellow, but I have to keep out of this." You felt forsaken. For weeks and weeks you carried the pain in your heart. The story was bad enough but would right itself. The idea that he should fail you, that he had not, rushed to your side at the first hint of trouble was bad enough, was unbearable. He came back again after it was all over, but the sight of him renewed the ache in your breast and the throb of pain in your throat. The scar was thin, and the hurt beneath it quivered. We all bear scars. Life is a struggle, and hurts must come. But why the unnecessary ones? Why hurt the souls of little children? Why say things to them that they must remember with pain all their lives? Why say the smart, tart thing that goes straight to the heart of someone we love because we would relieve ourselves of the day's tension and throw off a grain of the soul's bitterness? Who are we to inflict wounds and suffering and scars on those about us? Staggering, blind mortals, groping our way from somewhere "here" to somewhere "there" conscious of little but the effort to stay "here" a little longer! It behooves us to travel softly, regardful of one another's happiness, particularly where our path crosses that of those dependent upon us for comfort or enters into the heart of little children.
Yes, let us be "regardful of one another's happiness" as we are able. Surely this is what is meant by "Love your neighbor as yourself."

1 comment:

  1. Check on youtube for an interview with Sir Paul MacCartney.He used this painting of Picasso as an inspiration for a song.Search for -two fingers maccartney-
    A great story by a great man...


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