Simple Lessons

Some of the best life lessons I’ve learned have been very short, and simple.

I used to have such a difficult time accepting gifts from others.  Whether it would be a compliment or a material gift.  I would stammer, try to not accept it because I was embarrassed someone thought enough of me to say something kind or give me something.  Years ago one individual told me “all you have to do is say thank you”.  That’s it.  Nothing more.  Accept, and be thankful.  It has rung through my thoughts, those words, every time I receive a gift.  Be sincere in my thanks, and say thank you.

I went to a funeral home as a young adult, I was worried senseless over what to say. I didn’t have much experience with death.  And I had no idea what to say.  I stood behind a man and his wife.  The man was clad in denim and chains.  The sleeves cut off of his denim jacket.  His biker club insignia on the back of his jacket.  The grieving family were sitting in chairs along a wall.  I was literally sweating with fear of what to say.  This man who presented as a hard core biker leaned in to one of the family members, took her hand in both of his and gently said “I’m so very sorry for your loss”.  He looked her in the eyes, conveyed with his simple gesture and direct emotion his sympathy.  I see this image every time I go to a funeral home.  And I’m comforted by the image of his sympathy and know it’s as simple as being sincere.

When I was young I could not understand the concept of “left” and “right”.   How can this be my left hand when I’m facing you but when I turn around the hand that was on that side is now my right hand!  I was in the kitchen apparently stressing my mother over this.  She was standing at the stove, cooking.  And probably pregnant.  I remember it was a skillet.  I remember the stove being situated by the wall on one side, and the counter leading to the sink on the other side.  She dropped the spatula in the skillet.   Put both of her hands in the air and said “this is your left here and your right here”.   She turned a quarter turn away from me and kept her hands in the air “this is still your left and this is still your right”  and she did quarter turns until she was facing the skillet again.   At every turn saying “this is still your left and this is still your right” and she would waggle the appropriate hand.   She picked up the spatula and kept cooking.    I got it.

I don’t think this means I’m simple minded.

I think it means I appreciate a good lesson, made simple.  Because sometimes things don’t need to be made any more difficult than they are.