Thursday, January 19, 2006


This week when we remembered Martin I couldn't help but think about those people in my life who are oppotunities to practice compassion and tolerance. I usually think of them as idiots and assholes who make me crazy, but when I see the example set by MLK I consciously work to see them all as opportunities to practice shifting my perspective from one that is negative and shrill to one that is peaceful and loving.

This particular week there was an abundance of opportunities amplified by the raging hormones that accompanied the insanity that is PMS. It's like the universe is giving me a great big test to see if I can be like Jesus or will I be pushed to the dark side where my head spins like Linda Blair in the exorcist as I spew obscenities.

There's the guy that A. is doing work for who flat out said to him that he doesn't want him to make a profit and continues to call and make demands. He is someone involved in the huge multimillion dollar project that A. is working on, so he doesn't want to burn a bridge and he's being all diplomatic. I have to breathe deeply when he calls so as not to blow a vein.

There's the guy in the massively huge truck that he crammed into a "compact" parking place in Trader Joe's parking lot last night, who blasted his horn at me when I finally backed out of my parking space after waiting five minutes for him to finish. Like it's my fault that he couldn't dock his space shuttle all the way in the spot. Whatever.

And there's the homeless guy who stands on the island at Fairfax and Venice holding a sign that says that he's HOMELESS, HAS A WIFE AND A SON, NEEDS HELP. He stands right next to the left hand turn lane and stares at people accusingly as he moves his hand over the sign, pointing out each line, like we can't read. For some reason I always feel guilty if I don't give him anything. I'm being guilted by a homeless guy who is probably running a scam and makes more money than I do with his pointing routine. I've finally gotten to the point where I won't even make eye contact with him any more and that makes me feel horrible. I've gotten to where I won't make the left turn there anymore if I see him. I can't stand that a homeless guy has this kind of control over me. And if anyone is an opportunity to practice compassion it should be a homeless guy. Right? When I see him I always think about how many people in this country are on the precipice of homelessness.

And that leads me to the biggest opportunity to practice compassion that there is... This president and the members of his administration.

And that's a level of practice I'll have to leave until next week when the hormone level has leveled out again. Because it's a test. A big test and this week I just can't take it. It's all I can do not run over the homeless guy on the divider.

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