Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Stop Making Sense (of it all)

"Ours is not to wonder why, ours is but to do and die."

The original quote from Alfred, Lord Tennyson's poem is: "Their's not to reason why, Their's but to do and die," but it is often paraphrased, "Ours is not to wonder why, ours is but to do or die." The version I have used is a combination of these two that came to mind as I continued to ponder my write-up from last week and to try and make sense of it.

When it first happened, I was absolutely certain that the person who had unwittingly received an extra $100 would return it to the credit union and my record would return to its unblemished state. I was certain of this because I am the person who ALWAYS returns the money. Whenever there is a "bank error in my favor" I always let someone know. 

So, according to the laws of Karma as I understand them, this was a no-brainer, the person would discover the error and return the money. Except....they didn't.

This shook my world a bit and I had to come up with another explanation for this aberration in the workings of the Universe.

Here's what I came up with: 

1) This was a "correction" from the Universe for judging a co-worker who has trouble balancing and makes a lot of mistakes on the job. Kind of a, you think you're so great, well try this on for size, kind of smack-down from the Universe.

2) This was a chance to "trust the Universe," to push the pause button on my anxiety and just see what happened next and to continue to trust in the possibility that someone would return the money after a few days or weeks had passed. 

3) This was a redress of grievances for loosening my policy of "working at work." In the past I had always worked on only work things at work, but recently, as I noticed how much time my co-workers spend on Facebook and Google and Flicker while working, I had begun to relax my personal rules a bit and check my email or work on some writing while at work. I didn't feel entirely good about it, but I was still justifying it with the old, "everybody's doing it."

As the days went on I thought about each of these possibilities and tried to decide which one was "right," but there was no one answer that overwhelmingly spoke to me and seemed to be "it." (Though I did finally settle on #3 as the most likely and have returned to my former policy with good results so far.) 

That's when this quote started to repeat in my head. "Ours is not to wonder why, ours is but to do and die."

It reminds me of a game I used to play with my younger son when he was around 4 or 5 years old. He would ask me a question and keep asking the next question and the next question and the next until we finally got into a loop that went like this: 

ME: "I don't know."

HIM: "Why don't you know?"

ME: "Because I'm not God."

HIM: "Why aren't you God?"

ME: "Because God made me human."

HIM: "Why did God make you human?"

ME: "I don't know."

HIM: "Why don't you know?"

ME: "Because I'm not God."

And so on and so on until one of us (usually me) got tired and we stopped. 

This is exactly what I was doing with God over my write-up. 

ME: "Why did this happen?"

GOD: "It is not yours to know."

ME: "Why not?"

GOD: "Because you're not God."

ME: "Why not?"

GOD: "Because I made you human."

ME: "Why?"

GOD:"It is not yours to know."

And so on and so on and so on. Until I go crazy or just let it go....because sometimes ours is not to reason why, ours is but to do the best we can with the life we have been given and then, eventually, to die.....when presumably it will all make sense.

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