Today, in the morning, George and I sat on the verandah and discussed... rubbish. OK, maybe not quite, what happened was that our microwave broke and we had to dispose of it somewhere. The problem was where to dispose of it – at our local dump, which is not actually legal, or do the right thing and take the microwave to town and dispose of it there, where they collect this type of waste. For me it was simple – do the right thing,especially as we were going to town anyway. However, for George the solution was not so simple. He said that there is no point in always doing the right thing, as others do not do it. People leave all possible rubbish in the local dump regardless of whether it is legal or not. After more than 10 min of monologue he concluded saying “I always did the right thing and therefore, I did not achieve anything in life. Others do all the wrong things and are successful. So, if you want to be successful in life you cannot do the right thing”. As you can imagine Buddy, of course I did not agree with him, but surprisingly he did not get angry. I always try to do the right thing and, in my opinion, I am successful and achieved a lot in life. And you are also a person who tries to do the right thing and you are definitely successful. So it is possible to do the right thing and to achieve a lot in life. I think the balance is important. I would not drive 100km just to dispose of the microwave (unless the drive would be very pleasant, then I had an excuse for the drive ;). There could be a slight chance that in this case, I would not do the right thing, though most probably I would collect more of this type of rubbish and then drive and dispose of it all in one go. But I cannot tell George what to do, he has to decide for himself. I suggested that I take it to the dump in town, but my husband found hundreds of reasons why it would not work – none of them made any sense to me, and I do not even remember any of them. It is amazing how complicated the simplest thing can get, and... how interesting our discussions are ;) Anyway at the end George left the microwave at the local dump “as others are doing the wrong thing anyway” and the only problem he has with this is that now he cannot complain any more about others doing the wrong thing as he is doing the same. I am sure, at some point, he will start complaining again about people, at least I know how to stop the monologue, um.. sorry discussion ;)
However, I have to say that I can understand George's bitterness a bit. He always tries to do the right thing by others and somehow does not think about
himself, about the consequences his actions will have on himself. As a result, he and everybody around him gets frustrated, stressed and unhappy. For me
the best example was with his parents. When we discussed buying a property, the condition was that his parents will be living with us – we will buy a
smaller house for us and a cottage for the parents. If I did not agree to this, he would not buy the property. For me it was not a problem, I was happy
for them to move in with us (at my parents home, for generations, parents lived with their children, so I knew what to expect). And all the time they
lived here I did not have any issues with this. Yes, it was a bit more work and sometimes challenging, but I could deal with it without getting stressed
or angry. The most challenging part, however, was George's behaviour, he could not cope with the situation at all. As a result he was constantly agitated,
stressed and annoyed, screaming at everybody. Mum was often in tears and at some point she started to be afraid to say anything because whatever she said
always upset George. She decided not to talk to him and this infuriated George even more. The situation here was not nice at all.
At the beginning he tried to do the right thing by his parents, but he did not think that he was not able to live with them, he does not have the necessary patience understanding and empathy. He tried to do the right thing, but at the end in some respect, it was a disaster. Everybody was constantly under pressure including him. Mum was afraid to say a word, he was screaming without any reason and I tried to negotiate between the two of them. Taking into account that I still had to work full-time in the city and do work on the farm, I was really pushed to the limits. I never got angry or lost patience, however, it really drained me a lot. Was it really the right thing to do to get his parents over here? Maybe from a society point of view yes, at least that was what George believed. It was his responsibility to look after his parents. But when I think about all the stress we went through then... maybe bringing them over was not the right thing to do. Yes, we definitely should make sure that our parents are well and have all they need, and in some respect look after them, but living together is not always an option...
George told me that if he would have to make the same decision now, with the knowledge he has today, he would not bring his parents over here...
That is one story which I witnessed, but George told me another story when he tried to do the right thing and got badly hurt. When he was in his 30's he met
a girl from Switzerland. They fell in love, she visited him here, he went a couple of times over to Europe. At the end they decided to give their relationship
a chance and she would move to Australia. The preparations were on the way, the girl quitted her job and was doing her final preparation to start a new life
on a new continent. That is when George met an Aussie girl with whom he had a very strong connection from the first moment. He could feel that she is “the one”.
Everybody was telling him, that he should follow his heart. He, however, decided to break contact with the Aussie girl as this was the right thing to do because
of the Swiss girl. The European girl arrived in Australia. For a few months they lived together, but then she discovered that she missed Europe too much and she
was not able to live so far away from her home country. George could not speak German, he did not have any education at that time, therefore he could not go with
her back to Europe. He was too afraid that he would never be able to find a job. As a result George stayed on his own. Until today he thinks about the Aussie girl
with whom he had the special connection and asks himself why did it happen to him. Why did he have to meet these two women at the same time. Why could not this
special girl come into his life at a different point in time. I think he really loved the Aussie girl and in some respect maybe he hoped that I will become like
her. Unfortunately, I am not her, I am who I am...
Did George do the right thing? Was breaking contact with that girl really the right thing to do? I am not the one to judge. I can only say that I would try to do something different... I will not write about this here as I know, Buddy, that you know what I mean...
Yes, I think it is important to always try to do the right thing and not to hurt others. But I also believe that it is important to look after ourselves, as, at the end if we are not happy and content, we will hurt the people around us – as it happened in the case of my parents-in-law. And I also think that it is smart not to burn bridges behind us and always keep our options open. And there is no conflict between doing the right thing and keeping our options open. It might be challenging and difficult, but not impossible.
Lots of Wings,