Today’s MOZEN: Do The Right Thing

F LoBuono

We are faced with moral decisions on virtually a daily basis. The big ones are obvious and, thankfully, not frequent. However, it’s the little, seemingly inconsequential ones that we face almost constantly that are, by their shear volume, just as important. The choices that we make on matters we hardly notice are the spokes in the wheel that drive the force often known as Karma. And, to make it all work requires a sense of mindfulness, i.e. a sense of awareness of our place in the universe.

Here’s one example.

I live in one of five apartments that make up what once a grand Victorian mansion. It’s a lovely place with lots of privacy and a beautiful porch and garden. The neighborhood is just great, too. I’m fortunate to live here.

Because of the fact that I have lived here the longest (8 years) and, quite frankly, by my nature, I’m kind of the unofficial caretaker of the place. I maintain the porch and a small garden. I shovel the stairs of snow before the landlord can get the service to do the full job and help take out the garbage when he goes on vacation. It’s not a burden and it gives me a strong sense of belonging here.

However, at the same time, I don’t own the place. I just live here and pay rent like everyone else. So, I have to be aware as to not over-manage. And, I don’t believe that I do. Still, from time to time, there is bound to be some conflict.

One of my housemates often adds some flowers to those I have placed around our porch. She’s done it for the few years that she has lived here. The are always colorful violets and add to the beauty of the place. However, I’ve also noticed that if I don’t take care of them, NO ONE else does — including her. So, I just assume the responsibility and I do it.

Well, over the last few weeks, I had a few trivial incidents with this person that left me feeling disrespected and, therefore, uncomfortable. But, in the interest of peace and harmony, I decided not to pursue the matters any further.

As has been her custom, I noticed that she recently put out a few pots of violets on the porch. They were quite full and healthy. After a few days, I also observed that, again, they had NOT been watered and the blooms needed to be deadheaded. Without some care they would surely wither. So, of course, I just couldn’t help myself and did both.

Believe me, I thought about saying screw this! It’s not my responsibility. AND, she did me dirt. Why should I give a shit about HER flowers?

But, I just couldn’t walk by and let them die. That just didn’t make sense to me. It’s just not in my nature. Besides soothing my bruised feelings what would letting them wither accomplish? The flowers never did anything to me and they simply add beautiful color to my world. It’s like that ancient Zen saying: holding onto anger is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.

So, in return for a little effort, the flowers will fill my life with a little more color and joy. Do The Right Thing. Water the flowers. It’s really not that hard. And, the wheel will keep turning . . .




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Frank LoBuono

Frank LoBuono

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