There was a time in my life when I wasn’t thoughtful because people were unappreciative. I would let the doors slam in the face of person behind me. I would look the other way instead of giving up my seat to someone who needed it. I didn’t care if a woman was having a hard time with her kids. I would talk about her saying she should control those kids or she shouldn’t have had so many if she couldn’t handle them. It wasn’t that I was a mean person I just didn’t have tolerance for people outside my circumference. I was frustrated because people wouldn’t acknowledge kindness with a simple “thank you”. Besides I figure treat people the way they treat you. I was and still am a native New Yorker and we were considered mean.
When I was a kid I spit in this girls hair because she said something fresh to me. How dare she? I was the school bus monitor and she should respect all of my thirteen years of wisdom. When I was a teenager and got drunk the very first time, this guy who liked me got dressed up for this party he wore a wide brim hat, bell bottoms and platform heels in all white. It was the 70’s and he was cleaner than the board of health and knew he looked good. He was dressed to impress he was fly. Yet to this day it still hurts me that when he walked up to me smiling, I greeted him with the name everyone called him behind his back. I say, ‘ hey its wart face.’ and laughed. I saw the hurt on his face but I didn’t care. Sad thing is I never saw him again to apologize. Another time we went ice skating and this man with his son was standing where I was sitting. I was high on an acid and when I looked at that man’s face I said to my boyfriend, loud ‘look he has craters in his face’. Then I laughed so hard, my boyfriend told me to shut up. I remember these things because they stand out as the meanest thing I’ve done. I know I’ve done much more but I couldn’t begin to remember. I have friends who have done mean things and I choose to ignore those actions which made me just as wrong.
I was a drug abuser, a liar, a thief and sexually pernicious. I was self-centered and heartless. I didn’t care about anyone or anything. I was happy as long as I had my drugs and sex. I would steal from anyone who turned their back on me. This is why today I work hard at being a good person. The things I’ve done I couldn’t imagine doing today.
When someone says I’m a good person or nice person. I get a feeling of humble satisfaction since I remember not being so. Today I always try to do the right thing. I hold the door for other people. I give up my seat to those who seem to be more disabled than I. When I see a young mother struggling with her little kids and doesn’t notice one wandering off or about to get into something they have no business getting into. I try to stop them or gentle tell the mom to watch her kid. I greet strangers with smiles and offer kind words. I pick up money people drop and return it. If the cashier gives me extra change by error I give it back. What life has taught me is to treat others the way I wish to be treated. I believe in karma because my past has haunted me in many ways. I use to cry about my hard life but the reality is I made it hard by being heartless. My kindness to each and every living thing is my penance. A penance I do without thinking, my heart has nothing but love, care and compassion. I try to always to be thoughtful and tolerant of other. So tell me I’m a good or nice person and I feel very proud.
I did wrong because I didn’t believe in a power greater than I. Now I do and wish to obtain favor with the universe and be linked in the spiritual universal chain. From the darkness of misdirected youth I light a torch to shine compassion on those in the glow of my essence.
©Kimberly Wilhelmina Floria 4/6/14