Each time that my mom misplaces something, she says, “I would drive me crazy if I lived with me.”
Turns out that this tendency to misplace and forget things is hereditary. Each day, I struggle through life trying to find my keys, remember where I put my shoes, recall what I said I would do for someone, scramble to do my homework that I forgot about, and so on. At 24, I’m a step away from Alzheimer’s. And, like my mom, I would drive me crazy if I lived with me—and I’m sure my forgetfulness drives Ru crazy sometimes too.
And, yet, there are times that my memory is so sharp that it is unforgiving in its inability to forget flaws or mistakes.
This came into crystal-clear focus yesterday while Ru was listening to Glenn Beck.
I’m sure those of you who know me know that I haven’t been Glenn Beck’s biggest fan. But, he’s changed. And maybe I’ve changed. And now I actually agree with some of what he says.
At his rally in DC earlier this month (or maybe last month; time goes by too fast), he spent the morning talking to hundreds of thousands of people about the importance of restoring honor. Going into the event, I expected him to say that this meant voting in Republicans, giving tax breaks to the wealthy, and repealing all social programs. But, he surprised me. Instead, he talked about the need to give back to your community and your country, whether it’s through military service, volunteering and charitable giving, or merely being an upstanding person. How refreshing!
Yesterday, Ru once again tricked me into listening to Glenn Beck against my will. And Beck spoke about how we need to stop the anger in this country. Immediately, I thought to myself, “He’s the one causing the anger!” I used the example of him making fun Obama’s daughter as an example of this.
In his calm and logical way, Ru reminded me that Beck had felt bad about those kinds of digs that had further divided the country. Today, he sought to be better than that—and asked his listeners to also be better than that.
Of course, having listened to him myself, I knew this to be true. And yet, my mind was automatically prejudiced against him. I automatically conjured up his worst moments instead of his best. My memory, which fails me on a daily basis, won’t let me forget his mistakes.
I wonder how often I do this. How often do I complain about something or someone without taking note of the good? How many people do I judge based on previous transgressions? And worse, how many people judge me based on who I was in high school, or college, or even a few years ago.
While I need to stop forgetting where my keys are, I really need to be better at forgiving and forgetting.
Photo: Russell and I at the Glenn Beck rally in DC.