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Mindful : June 2018
When I told my husband about the call he was incredulous. “Are you crazy? I only told you he cut himself because I thought we should slip him a few bucks for his trouble. You didn’t have to make such a big thing of it. Now they’ll prob- ably sue us. Did you ever think of that!?” The thing was, I had. I’d seen way too many courtroom dramas not to consider the possible ramifications of showing my concern—not to mention that both my parents were lawyers. When you seek safety behind a self- protective shield of cynicism, you don’t see that life is nuanced. Behind immovable ideas of who and what is and isn’t to be trusted, you remain isolated. When my husband first told me about the inci- dent, I had felt my chest tighten. And when I went looking for Antoine, I noticed two voices sparring for my attention: one that echoed my husband’s cynical “Don’t cop to anything!” vigilance and one gently whispering, “But I like myself much better when I stay close to my humanity.” Someone who was just trying to make his way through life had cut himself on a coaster we’d broken. In my eyes, we were responsible for his care. I took a breath and decided to follow the second voice. I could have been suspicious and self-protec- tive, careful not to appear too responsible lest it bite me in the hindsight, but this just isn’t how I want to live my life. I find that if I stay open, awake, and aware; if I investigate and act in accordance with my values; and if I err on the side of trusting in the general good-heartedness of other humans, my day-to-day life offers me many lovely moments. Difficult things happen, but overall, my clouds do tend to harbor silver linings. Call me an optimist. → 66 mindful June 2018 get real