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I am a deeply (deeply) flawed human bean.
shy, really. and, often socially awkward. It’s not that I could, or should be compared to Howard Hughes, mind you. it’s just that I am always (always) focused. and, driven, of course, with a keen desire to win and prevail – and, with a higher standard.
it sets me apart. and, this can unnerve (most) people.
when I was eleven years old my younger brother, Greg, leveraged a lot of poor judgment and decided to toss some insults at a neighborhood bully named Tony.
I was eleven, Greg was six, and Tony was thirteen.
Tony came from a large (as in both physical stature and head-count) family, that lived up the street, and around the corner from us. for a couple of years I thought his name was actually “Hay Tooney” – you know, like a professional ball player. every time anyone (and, everyone) ever addressed, called for, or was looking at him, they would always (and, loudly) say, “Haay Tooney”!
in any event, he went after Greg. dude did not even hesitate; he was on my little brother like sewage out of the pipe. Greg had his little legs churning up our drive way for all he was worth with a head-start only just good enough that allowed for him to start calling for me. to this day I can’t remember much as I hurled myself out of the TV room, through the garage, and then with ten running steps later, full body into Tony. he already had a piece of fence in his beefy hands that he clearly meant to flail Greg with. instead, he beat me relentlessly with that piece of wood but I kept swinging and pushing. suddenly his resolve melted, possibly with my fury, and then he was on his back with me turning his nose into lasagne.
so… my Mom, the proper Sacramento debutante she was her whole life made me march over to his house the next day and apologize for giving him a beating.
“we are Cork’s. we take the higher road. you’ll understand better as you get older”, is all would say about it.
Tony and his Dad, with a small army behind them, met me at the front door. I extended my hand and simply said, “I apologize”.
…but, I didn’t mean it. not at all. I, in truth, felt like a flat-out liar. I wanted to cry. even howl, maybe.
“okay”, and sullenly, is all he said. his Dad said nothing. he just stared at me with a distant and mildly confused look splayed across his big bland olive-skinned face with a light stubble.
…the high road?
recently, I’ve lost something. and, man, it is, or was, dear to me. but, it’s really gone. and, I feel like it was stolen. now I have people that think I need to take that damn high road again and say things like, “best of luck to you. I offer my fullest support. I know you’ll do great”.
but, my heart isn’t in it. I did my best, and it was really good. the results were evident. now, some how and inexplicably, I’m taking a beating. and, it REALLY hurts. but, I have to go to the people that hurt me and take the high road because it’s, collectively, (maybe) good (maybe) for some of the people I care deeply (deeply) about.
I took a hard run Saturday and I admitted to God (but, He already knew, of course) that I did not want to take the high road. I wanted to be hurt and angry. I wanted to win. prevail. …protect people from the evil that I know is looming.
“come on, God”, said I . you and I both know there won’t be sincerity. and, what about hypocrisy?
I really do want to honor God with my response to this challenge, and the people that I’ve influenced. there’s a broken part of me that’s looking for someone(s) to be mad at. I’d love to exchange that for the patience and grace that He has, and hopefully will continue to show me. but, that’s so hard, right now.
that’s me being authentic.
this is another Kobayashi Maru, isn’t it.
however, as I was cooling down (literally, and miraculously in my heart) I knew that if I just said the words, something like, “it’s okay. I know you all will be great. I support you all”, that would, eventually (eventually) become the reality. it’s what they all expect of me, after all. let’s be very (very) clear. the words would not be sincere. they would ring hollow, in my own ears, in fact.
but, I’ll have said them. and, they might then have a life of their own, and there could be an effect.
my pain is meaningless, really. the people involved mean more to me than, well, me.
so… I wish them all the best (maybe because I want them to be happy and the best they can all be). I’ll have to move on.
…please. please (please), allow them to make me proud. and, remember, there has to be a difference between being pleased and being satisfied.
not because I say so, but because I really mean it.
peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.
brian patrick cork