“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times” So begins Dicken’s story of crisis and growth leading to doing the right thing.
That opening line has haunted me ever since I first read it, probably required reading in High School, a time when most of us barely have had enough life experience to understand what being human, being torn by the massive emotions of an adult really means. Yes, where I have been is when the wrong pencil would mean an inability to do well on a test. (I guess today’s students who test electronically have no concept of what that means.)
As a child, I assumed that I knew much because I thought I knew so much. School was where one learned enough to be moved along an educational pyramid with only the best getting to the top. Do well, and you win. Religion was a blurred memory of holiday food and activities that I wasn’t sure about. God to me was like my great-grand father, scary, with a spectacular white beard and demanding blue eyes. Was my childhood both the best and worst of times? Did I even understand what was going on in my own being let alone the world I lived in?
What I do know now is that my childhood enabled me to be where I am today because I have learned much about life, the good, the bad, the cruel, and the inexplicable. I have learned to look deeply into my relationship with God. I treasure family and friends. I still am not sure what it all means, but the result is I am not afraid to take any test without my lucky pencil. Now I know that I do not know so much, and it does not bother me. But, that child is still inside me with more questions than answers. I can live with that even though the best and worst of times can be in the same moment.
The real question is “Where Am I Going From Here”? am hoping that I can answer “It is a far, far better than thing that I do than I have ever done before….”
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