I just searched for wisdom. According to Wikipedia, wisdom is the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight. No wonder why it is so rare. For starters, common sense is the less common of all senses. Listening AND learning from others' experiences besides our own would be helpful too. Unfortunately the thought of "*that* won't happen to me because..." (I'm faster, younger, prettier, smarter, or whatever reason that comes to mind. Basically, because I'm better than you) is pretty common. This is more common when young but I think it has more to do with arrogance and ego than with youth. I often forget it is possible to find life lessons everywhere and anyone can be my teacher, regardless the age, gender or race. I believe creatures were created with two ears and one mouth so they can listen twice as they talk. Sadly, it happens the other way around. Everyone is busy in making their points right, justifying themselves and blaming others that true listening is becoming an extinct practice.
The other day I read a post at Elephant's Child about volunteering. It reminded me of my years as Doctor of Laughter, basically Hospital Clown a la Patch Adams. Risaterapia Mexico was founded following Patch Adams' cue. I loved my work there and I got so much from all the people I visited, I felt I gave very little in return. I found many teachers of life at the hospitals. I remember this six or seven year old girl who had terminal cancer.
"Hello!" I greeted her. "May I come in?"
"Hi", she grinned at my red nose. "I am very glad you're here."
I waltzed into her room. "What can I do for you today?"
"Nothing. I have cancer. I am going to die, but it's okay." She said with the same peaceful tone as if she would state the sky is blue and the roses are red. "It's my mom who needs you. She's very sad and has been crying. Please make her laugh."
I had training. I was told I would face tragic things like this and much worse. I was prepared to keep my guts steady, my smile in place but never disconnect my heart. I needed to give it to whoever needed it. To listen, to hug, to laugh together and cry together. Sometimes they would return my heart to me as big and gleaming as the sun, filled with so much love. Other times, they would return it to me twisted, torn and bleeding. But we were also trained to put it back in place. It was difficult not to take that people with you, in your mind. For your own sake, you left them all behind once you got out of the white coat, took off the red nose and washed your face.
I was pretty good at this, in general. Yet there were a few cases that, because of their brutality, managed to pass the red nose armor and training. Cases that froze the smile on my face while rage boiled in my core. Cases that put a murdering desire in my mind as my heart melted in pain and empathy for innocent little creatures I was still hugging. And for their sake, I had to keep the sweet demeanor, even if having the criminal standing just in front of me. As much as I resisted, I couldn't help to feel hate as much as I felt mercy.
I know I am no judge. It is not my job to say who deserves what. But there are some things that are just beyond my nature. I am a dragon. I spit fire. It's part of my essence. To control my fire I have to decide first if I care or I don't. If I swallow my fire down, it burns and hurts me badly. That gets me even angrier and sad. It also wears out my faith on human kind. Eventually, I hang up the white coat and put away the red nose. I knew I had too much to give yet but I would end up hating the world more than I already did. Deep inside, I left with the feeling I had failed.
Last week, I also saw a video at Mark Koopman's site that is called Look Up! If you have seen the ad "Disconnect to Connect", it's along the lines. It made my heart shrink so much and ache so much I could hardly breath. I couldn't help the tears either. They streamed for about an hour, and they threatened to appear all day long.
It reminded me that I connected to disconnect. That while I still tried to help people in other ways, I spit fire. I tried to change it but I failed. I cannot pretend to be what I'm not. Regardless the magic or the disguise, true nature will always come to the surface, one way or another. And I am so tired of fighting my true nature and trying to fit the profile in order to find a human that loves me. Dragons are beautiful in books, movies or online, but I see no human living with a dragon.
I strongly believe there are things that can be changed, if you're determined enough. But we like it or not, there are also things that cannot be changed and our essence can't be changed. It might be wise to learn to accept it and live accordingly. And just make the best we can with it. I have been opening bottles of wine three days in a row but I have not drank all of them. I have been chewing depressing thoughts but I have not swallowed them. I still think on those kids at the hospitals. I remember their lessons of life. They had terrible diseases, their bodies burned or mutilated, but they still were willing to smile, to play, to dream, to be amazed and to make the best of what they had for as long as it would last.
I am not sure if I am truly wise, but I have decided I shall find another way to go back to helping people, even if it's just here at the virtual dragon cave. I owe my heart at least that.