Good Enough

Why do so many people waste their lives trying to convince others that they themselves are ‘better’ ?   Or that others are ‘not good enough‘ ? Better than what – or not good enough for what? Why is life a contest and who made the rules? And why does our society seem to be getting so much worse and less tolerant?

I grew up in small town Saskatchewan.  People were not judged by race or sexuality. We were rather oblivious to the major global issues in those days before internet access.

That is not to say that there was no bigotry and ignorance.  People were judged by different criteria. From my earliest days, I was well aware of the judgemental nature of small town Saskatchewan.   I was French Catholic and to make matters worse, my family lived on the lower end of the economic scale of things.

My First Communion Day

I grew up knowing that I was not good enough.   From my earliest days, I did not understand why.   I was kind – certainly kinder than those who dismissed me or taunted me for being ‘not good enough’.  I was honest.   I was as smart as any child in our school.  I was always close to, or top of, my class academically.   I was as attractive as any of the other children in my school (at least in my mind).    I was physically challenged (I still am) – but who cares?  It was not like my goals in life ever revolved around how far I could throw a ball, how fast I could run or how high I could jump.   I did not understand why, but I was made very much aware that I was ‘not good enough’.

When I grew up I was often reminded that I was ‘not good enough’.  I married into an Anglo-Saxon family who felt they were very much ‘better’ than anyone and certainly better than my family and I. I was constantly reminded that I was not good enough for them. My mother-in-law felt badly for the way they ‘had’ to treat me but she did once tell me that I would understand one day when my sons grew up and married cheap tramps. (Jokes on herI have two daughters in law and both are amazing women – each in their own way!).

While there have been many good, kind people in my life, there has always been enough ignorant and judgemental neighbours, co-workers, employers, etc. around to remind me that I was ‘not good enough’. I do not know why I ever let them bother me, but I did.

It has taken me to retirement to realize I truly am done with people and their games and attitudes. I am happy living my little life of secluded retirement. I do not care who I am good enough for. I do not care about trying to be ‘better’ to meet their criteria for ‘good enough’.

I am good enough for my husband, my dog, and most of my family (depends on the day🙄). I am good enough for my current neighbours. I am good enough to enjoy the sun, clouds, rain, trees, flowers and rocks. I am good enough to enjoy the life that I am living. I am good enough to face myself in any mirror and know that I am a good person. I continue to learn and change as life goes on but I am now and I always will be, good enough for me!

World Day of Kindness

My Father With My Son Danny

My father passed away 26 years ago. To this day, the thing that I most remember about him was his kindness.

It did not matter who you were relative to him – family, friend, or stranger – my father was always kind. Your heritage, politics, religion, age, IQ or status did not matter to my father – he was always kind.

One miserable winter day, my dad saw an old man passing by in a thin, worn sweater. Dad called him into our shop and told him that he had been going through some jackets that someone had given him and asked if he could take one off his hands. The old man said he would be grateful for one, if there was one to spare. Dad took a warm jacket off of our coat rack, held it out to the old man and nonchalantly said “This one should fit about right”. The old man left, not only with Dad’s best winter jacket but with his dignity as well. That was just Dad’s kind way.

When Dad was eighty years old he developed cancer of the sinuses. He lived and suffered unimaginably for four years with it. The last few months of his life were spent in hospital. He weighed less than fifty pounds. His face was disfigured and his body was skeletal. His entire diet was tea and soft toast. He was so weak that he needed to be lifted up onto pillows to sit up. At his funeral, the parish priest spoke about what a good man Dad was and about the condition he was in the last few months of his life. He said it was difficult to go to visit him because it was so heart wrenching to see the condition he was in. But, he would go to visit him and when he got there Dad would insist on being propped up on his pillows. He would thank him for coming and then he would ask how the renovations on the church hall were going. He would tell him about our latest family news. Before long it would be time for the visit to end and the priest would leave, always amazed, at how pleasant it had been. Even dying, my father, could not stand to see people uncomfortable. He was that kind to the end.

November 13th is ‘World Day of Kindness’. Having grown up with the father I had, I believe every day should be ‘World Day of Kindness’. I think we should always strive to be better and what can possibly be better than being kind?