Sickle or scythe. Scythe or sickle?
I am standing in front of the whole class, having a foolish argument with the teacher. She says sickle, I say scythe. Or the other way around. Like it matters so much who’s right about the proper name for a tool that none of us will ever use.
First time I’m standing up myself, knowing that I prepared for the class, that I read the material, that I was right about this small, silly thing. For me, it was an important act of bravery – speaking up despite the cold sweat on my back and huge lump in my throat. Little mouse trying to become a cat.
Few days later the teacher has a stroke. Once, a knowledgeable person is now unable to fully use her mind or body. She’s handicapped.
“It’s my fault. I made her so angry and that stress caused the stroke. If I had only bit my tongue that day and kept my thoughts to myself … Standing up for myself causes trouble. I hurt people when I speak up. I probably was wrong about the damn sickle anyways …”
She lives couple of streets away from my house. I use another way to get home now, not wanting to meet her by chance, ashamed to look her in the eye …
Someone from my school has an idea to pay her a visit, bring a card and flowers. I live close by. If only I was sick that day and stayed home! Unlucky. They chose me and Eve. We’re the obvious choice. We live just around the corner.
“No! No! No!” the voice of fear, shame and guild screams loudly in my head.
It’s too late, I have no choice. They already decided. If I refuse, they will know about the terrible thing that I did. I made her sick. Afraid to face her, afraid they they’ll find out…
Don’t remember the visit, too much fear erased that memory. Only thing that’s left is a strong decision not to put myself in such situation ever again. Not to speak my mind. Not to fight for my beliefs.
I float back to Right Now.
Woah! A lightbulb moment.
Thoughts emerge and turn into realization. I punish myself for standing up for my Truths. That day back then I made a promise not to, so breaking that promise requires punishment. Pain. Loneliness. Poverty. Unhappiness. Pain again. Taking back what I have gained. I don’t deserve it. I broke a promise.
How can an event so insignificant cause such an avalanche of consequences in my head?
Mind is an amazing machine. But it lacks heart and objectivity. It lies.