Lessons Learned from a Black Eye

Ever had a shiner?! It’s not like a scraped knee. You can’t really cover it up – unless you don’t mind looking like an overdone clown. Makeup doesn’t really mask it and if you use concealer it’s just a matter of hours before the black and blue shine thru and reveal to all that you’re trying to keep a secret.

And it’s not gone in a week!

A black eye is humbling. And who doesn’t need a little humbling?!

Apparently I do!

As I await the passing of my bruises, here are some lessons I’ve learned:

– Be yourself – others will like you for who you are. Mamma told us, “it’s what’s on the inside that matters.” And she was right. A black eye forces you to reach inside; sometimes deep inside because….
– People love beauty. And conversely, they typically shy away from ugly. Ever been with someone beautiful? People flock to them, they attract others like a magnet. How about someone “not so pretty?” They can wait indefinitely for help in a busy store. It’s sad but true, and I wonder…
– Have I treated people with less regard because of their lack of beauty? Maybe a scar, a deformation, a wheelchair, missing teeth, etc….. I’m compelled to watch my actions and show kindness because…
– It takes much more character to walk around in a society (that loves pretty) and be ugly. People can be rude to less fortunate people. It takes a deep reservoir of fortitude for many people to assimilate in a world where they KNOW they will not have favor. And as such…
– I greatly admire those people. They have my respect. And my favor.

My black eye will go away.

But the one legged young man I saw pushing himself up an interstate ramp in a wheelchair (to go beg for money) has determination far beyond anyone I know.

Similarly so does the elderly man I saw struggling to cross the street, navigating his wheelchair – yet lifting one hand to waive in “Thanks” to the line of traffic that patiently waited. Could I do that day after day? Or would I stay at home to avoid the obvious frustration?

I’ve learned many lessons this last week. My sister surprised me when she heard I had a black eye – she laughed and told me to use a step stool the next time I try to get a heavy pan off the top shelf of my pantry. “Lesson learned,” she texted. Hmmm, actually I had never thought of that – but she’s right.

Hopefully the lessons will last far beyond the bruises that graciously taught them to me.

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