Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Albert Einstein
There’s no doubt then that I’m already insane.
I’ve been doing the same thing most of my life and can’t get it through my thick skull that I’m not going to get a different result.
Ever have an Oprah “Aha Moment”? That’s where you suddenly wake up to the fact that you can finally see where the problem lays or, you finally “get” what’s wrong with the picture you’ve been trying to draw for the last 40 years or more.
I had one of those moments today.
I finally Aha’d myself into the recognition that the Laws of Karma aren’t exactly what they’re cracked up to be.
As far back as I can remember, I’ve been “doing unto others as I would have others do unto me,” but, either I’m not getting that right or, others aren’t.
I’ve held doors open for people who have been bundled up with their arms full, struggling with strollers or wheelchairs, only to have someone else push past me, hitting me with their bag or tripping me with their feet as they stop short, just inside the doors.
People have come to me while in the check-out line, showing me one or two items, looking at my half full cart, wistfully asking to go ahead. Of course, I’ve let them go ahead of me, only to find their husband or kid, coming racing up from behind, with ten more items and, hold up the line because they either haven’t had the right change, needed a price check or, can’t remember their pin number on their debit or credit card.
Those asking for spare change, are always a conundrum. I’ve given what little change I’ve had in my wallet to someone, only to see them get into a cab five minutes later, with a case of beer. Not to be fooled twice, I’ve asked them what they need and instead of giving them change for “something to eat”, taken them into the closest restaurant or grocery store, whereupon they’ve gotten upset that I haven’t had enough to pay for the “super size” meal and told me they weren’t hungry in the first place.
Then, there’s the so called, “friend” who appears to call to see how you’re doing but, you end up spending the next two hours on the phone with them, listening to a litany of woes and not getting around to getting out to pick up what you needed to pick up after they tell you that they now, “feel better and are getting changed to go out for dinner” while you’re scrambling to make an omlette out of the 2 eggs you have left in your refridgerator because you didn’t make it to the store for listening to their problems.
Worse than that, is the friend who drops by and proceeds to compliment you on everything that you do, have around you and even how great your hair looks even though you haven’t combed it that day then, asks you to help them with something or other. You vow not to let that happen again and to recognize the signs of a favour going to be asked but, now that you’ve done one favour, they skip the buttering up and head straight for the request, leaving you stumbling to find a reason why you can’t help this time. So, you help them out yet again. However, the one time that you’re really stuck and need help, you decide to call in a favour from them and they’re busy. Yeah, sure. You’ve already fixed all of their problems so, they’re free to go on to do what they want.
Perhaps, the most bothersome of the help situations is when you’ve helped someone out a few hundred times and finally they do you a favour in return and they see fit to call it “even”.
Of course, we all have the friends who complain that you never call them but, whenever you do call, they’re busy, about to go out, someone is on their way over or, you leave a message and it takes them three weeks to return your call and that’s only after you’ve messaged or texted them three times to see if they got your message.
Or, there’s the elderly neighbor you’ve helped so many times with everything from shopping to fixing things to rides to doctor’s appointments and just about every other daily need that they have had but, you ask if you can trim a 10 foot long branch from a tree in their backyard that’s overhanging your patio, dropping leaves into your dinner plate during an outdoor dinner and they go bezerk, ranting and raving like a lunatic for 15 minutes straight that you’re going to ruin their property if you trim it back a foot or two so, you end up having to move your table instead.
I don’t know if it’s just me or whether it’s that the world of Karma is simply against me but, whatever it is, I’ve had my Aha moment recently on this topic and the lesson has been learned.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
I’ve decided that I’m no longer going to continue being a do-gooder. It seems that the more doors you hold open, the more there are to be slammed in your face. The more people you help, the more is expected from you and taken for granted. The nicer you are to people, the more you’re looked upon as a doormat and the more you give, the less you have for yourself. That goes for anything you have to give.
As Einstein has said, if you’re doing the same things and expecting a different reaction, you’re insane.
I think I’ve gained some sanity because I’m not answering my door or my phone, bypssing those asking for change and help and, the next one who asks to go ahead of me in the grocery store…wears the pie I’ve got in my cart home on their head!
Wonder if Einstein’s theory of relativity works for relatives too?