I did let my little light shine, though few came by to see it. I tried to give instead of receive when I was able to hijack my selfish default self and override such instincts. I never let anger lead me along, as long as I remained well-fed and medicated. I never made it into the pantheon of saints and heroes. I did nothing for my country, little for my community and slightly above average for my family. Then again, I rarely, if ever, fell into the class of men who were so lost and broken that they were better off locked up in an institution. I wish that I could tell you that I was an exceptional man with a keen acumen for social justice and a heart for the hurting individual, but I was not. It was good enough and sometimes more than great for me to be simply a good enough sort of man.
Would I have been better off a woman? Scientifically, I suppose you’d have to give me a Groundhog Day rebirth inside of the same family, but as a little baby girl instead–with no memories of my previous life as a man to make things unfair. Probably, I wouldn’t have been the prettiest girl, but likely would have had fewer weight issues than many women do, had I been born one. I would have likely gotten married soon, and have had more relationships with the opposite sex in high school and college. I probably would have complained a lot about how hard I had it as a mom who’d never gotten to do many fun, single things before getting married, but overall, I would have been content with watching my kids and the face in the mirror grow old alongside one average-looking man who worked in an office downtown.
Which is all to say, I don’t think much would have changed about me. But then again, who knows? Who can really say for sure, except for maybe God–and I don’t think God really cares about such idle speculation.
Have I really lacked for anything in this life, except perhaps a few more friends? No.
God has been good to me many times over. I have been good to God far fewer times than He has been to me. I have been good to others far fewer times, too. If I did end up getting what I deserved at the end of my life I would probably be sent to a boring, unexceptional sort of heaven or hell, a gray place with no real ups or downs but nothing worth complaining about, either. A cozy nook tooked away between the places where the excplicit sinners and saints, the proudly evil and the boldly good, go. A cozy nook for me and billions more who schlepped their way through life, doing next to nothing for the betterment of humanity, the self, or the less-fortunate creatures that humans mistreat so.
It is hard work to be overtly evil or good. It is an easy paradise to get caught up in reacting aimlessly to life’s curveballs and being content to hit one out of a hundred out of the park.