I have, unlike most people come to terms with my mortality: the fact that one day, I am going to wake up for the last time.
Having said that, I have at several times tried to be prepared for the inevitable. Probably the only aspect of my existence without procrastination – sad. So I tally up the dos and don’ts; who do I owe; who have I wronged; who have I stolen from; who do I have a grudge against; who might justifiably have a grudge against me; which of my affairs may constitute a burden to those I leave behind rather than a blessing; try not to repeat stuff I am told as people sometimes seem very comfy telling me stuff they would probably not tell other people; and so on. I can’t say I am satisfied with the outcome of the review but in general, I find that with most of my shortcomings, I am accountable to only the big Kahuna upstairs. Well, that’s not strictly true, because by not achieving my full potentials, there are ripple effects on all those around me – who might I have given a hand or leg up; more holiday trips for the folks; better schooling opportunities for some relations or even better donations to some other charitable causes, etc.
I have always known there was something wrong, something missing, but didn’t know how bad it was. Well, not until recently. Now I know what it is, and I am surprised that I didn’t guess all along. Yes, people are going to say things about you, some of which will be true and others false. Some you should rightly ignore, but some you should look into. To be filed under “ignore”, is if you hear that you are dead (usually happens to celebrities). Well, if you are dead, you certainly won’t be “hearing” about it. To be seriously investigated are those things that sounds as if they may have some element of truth in them no matter how unpalatable. Which brings us to the crux of this post. I recently found out that I have a bad character. So here I am going through my memories for the past 9 months or so (hopefully that is the date range for whatever I have done or failed to do whatever it is I did do or shouldn’t have done). I am ticking a lot of stuff off, but nothing stands out as the obvious flaw (of which there are plenty) that I can think of as part of my character that makes it bad. I would assume shortcomings that are if anything detrimental to my own wellbeing and progress with no direct negative impact on others don’t count. The most obvious thing that I can think of, I wouldn’t equate to a bad character. I have tried not to write anything negative unless it’s obvious about people or at least anonymize them if unavoidable. I try as much as possible not to step on people’s toes or rub people the wrong way. I know you can’t satisfy everybody, but at least I try not to annoy anybody. But yet, there is that act or omission that equates to a bad character . I have thought hard, but it still eludes me. Maybe someone reading this can set me straight so I can go about fixing it or if impossible, well, I can give up knowing I tried my best – maybe I can justify this post with that reason?
Bad is of course better than evil. So maybe, I should take some consolation in the fact that I have a bad character. Evil would have sent me running to the cathedral crying “Help me, Lord help me” and hopefully I would get the answer “When you cry, I cry, I cry along with you. When you smile, I smile, I smile along with you, . . .” just like the song goes. On the other hand, bad may just be as bad as evil. After all, who wants a bad man for a bedfellow? Or a man of bad character for a close friend? Or as a baby-papa? Or as a father? This may actually explain why I am typing this by my lonesome self in a dark room while some of my friends and colleagues are having a jaw-jaw with families of 5 (God forbid anything larger in this day and age) or less, which explains why I am taking this seriously (I hope).
One more thing, that stuff about coming to terms with my mortality? It’s simply not true. One can only say that, mean it, and have it be absolutely true, when one is faced with a situation where that mortality is truly being tested with the outcome almost certainly death, and only very few lucky people actually live to tell about it, and much fewer tell the whole and absolute truth – undiluted with Adrenalin and the need to be some sort of hero.