The pedicure place is close by and while I was waiting for my nails to dry I read an article about sleep research. After sitting in their back massaging chair for over an hour, I could have fallen asleep but I had to pick Levi back up before they sold him off to a cat food cannery or a medical research lab owned by Dr. Evil. They have five groomers, one bather and two desk people working at the doggie beauty parlor and it’s always busy and bubbling over with canine energy. For some reason Levi and another schnauzer seem to get booked on the same day. The other dog is so cute and lady-like and I think Levi has a crush on her. I know I do. I call days like this my hundred dollar days but they actually cost closer to $120 to get us both “prettied up” and that doesn’t even include tips and lunch. First world problems, Jean, remember how lucky you are to have them instead of second and third world problems.
Today was the annual ice cream social at the senior hall. A local creamery donates the ice cream and all the sundae fixings to honor us oldies-but-goodies for reasons all their own. It’s the best made ice cream in area and usually it’s so hot in July the ice cream melts before you can get to the bottom of your dish. Not this time. It was 60 degrees! Can you believe that? The cool weather we’re having coupled with the back-to-school advertising blasted out everywhere is making me sad. I’m not ready for summer to end. I’m not ready for a lot of things. They will come anyway. But if I’ve learned anything in my 70 plus years it’s that life is constantly changing. The ebbs and tides, the yin and yang, the positives and negatives all do their dances to keep the world turning which means no one can stay sad for long at the senior center where they book bands that tell corny jokes like this: An old guy using a walker made his way up to the window at Tasty Freeze and ordered a sundae. The clerk gave him a kind smile and asked: “Crushed nuts?” and he replied, “No, arthritis.” You can always count on old people humor at the senior hall.
All of us at one time or another wonder about life, what it’s all about and why do some suffer and others don’t. I compare my first world problems with those from around the world and wonder, why me? Why am I lucky enough to have hundred dollar days and free ice cream? Why am I lucky enough not to have the sound gunfire over head? I’ve been thinking too much about this topic lately and even when I try not to it comes knocking on my door. Turn on the eerie music while I explain that one. I have a Buddhist Mediation app on my cell phone that I like to use in the car if I have time to kill. It gives you a phrase you’re supposed to repeat each time a Burmese gong or Chinese hand bell rings and before the ice cream social I turned it on. The phrase they gave me was, “There has to be evil so that good can prove its purity above it.”
Usually my Buddhist Mediation app puts me in a mellow state, almost on the verge of sleep. Not this time. After spending four minutes repeating, “There has to be evil so that good can prove its purity above it” I was analyzing and wondering if we truly wouldn’t recognize the intrinsic value of good if not for the evil in the world. Do we all know the perimeters of those words, or are some of us still in the dark ages and truly don’t know that doing good is better than doing evil? I decided the latter is true. Since time began, we’ve gotten a lot better though. We no long burn girls at the stake because a neighbor’s cows went dry. We no longer shanghai boys to work on pirate’s ships. We have a world court to try crimes against humanity. And we have eerie mediation apps that seem to be psychic and make me focus on Truths as old as enlighten thought and written language. And one of those Truths is the fact that all any one of us can do is our best to leave our tiny slice of the world a better place than when we found it. ©