Wednesday, May 13, 2015

My neighbor, Mark

Our next door neighbors are Mark and Naomi and their 4 children--17 to 8. They are great neighbors.

Mark has a graduate degree in Forestry from Yale and does something to do with wetlands and forests and the environment.

He is also my moral compass.

Mark grew up in Cheshire and I believe he knows everything about Cheshire.

I took out our garbage last night and noticed that at least half of our neighbors had brought out their recycling bin as well. I knew good and well that recycling had been last week and only every other week, so I felt superior, knowing that I was right and they were wrong.

But when I woke up this morning, I noticed Mark had put out his recycling too.

And Mark couldn't be wrong. So, even though I remembered putting it out last week and even though our recycling bin was only half-full, and we always fill it to the top and running over every two weeks, I thought to myself, "Mark must be right", and pulled my recycling to the curb.

By four p.m., it was obvious I'd been correct all along and Mark, my compass is all things had been wrong.

He was mowing his yard and I was having a glass of wine on the deck.

"Mark," I called to him, "I have a bone to pick with  you." And I had told him how he made me doubt myself and had failed me as my moral compass.

"I had the walk of shame," he said, "pulling the bin back in."

"I'm waiting until after dark," I told him. And I did. I just brought it back and it's 10:30 p.m. or so.

What a burden it must be to be someone's compass--someone that can make another person doubt what they know is right.

Are you the moral compass for anyone? (I know recycling isn't necessarily a moral issue--well, maybe it is....) But are those people who believe you are 'right' even when they know better, deep down?

I hope you know the weight of that burden well. I really do.

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About Me

some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.