When good has an edge


If there is anyone on this earth that knows me inside and out – it’s my father. Oh, there’s plenty he doesn’t ‘know’ about me . . . but there is a lot that he does know ‘about’ me. Make sense? Ok, moving on . . .

My dad used to tell me, in my younger years – that my hugest downfall is my optimism and idealism. He thought me too trusting and overly willing to see the good in people and overlook the bad. Not cautious enough. He would say to me – “Lil’ bit – there is plenty of good people, and plenty of bad – – I think you know the obvious differences. However, it’s those select few who seem like they are good – but there’s always an edge. You need to learn how to notice the edge and be aware of it and careful around it.” I’m paraphrasing, of course – – but yes, for curious minds – he did used to call me his lil’ bit. 🙂

It’s ok to be idealistic. It’s ok to be optimistic. But it’s also important to keep your eyes open for those wolves in sheep’s clothing. Just when I thought that I caught it this time – I’m experiencing this odd reversal in roles between my father and I. I think I’m seeing good with an edge. I think that I’ve picked out the wolf in a sheep’s suit. My dad, on the other hand – feels that I am wrong and overly cynical.

How bizarre is that?

So – is it possible for a person to do such wonderful things for other people and still harbor ill-intent deep inside? Is it possible for a person to perform seemingly selfless tasks – – – giving of themselves without the expectation of anything in return – – to go a few hundred steps above and beyond the call of duty – – and yet, still, in doing all of those things – – there is a darker, ulterior motive that lies beneath?

My dad doesn’t think so. My dad feels that I should take it for face value and see it for what it is. A selfless act of kindness bestowed by a person whose very nature it is to give without taking…to take care of others in a way that defies logic . . . with the very humble expectation of nothing in return.

I remain cynical. And I feel bad because of it. I feel like I’m the only one in this situation who sees it for what it is. It’s not that my dad doesn’t know all the facts – because he does. He knows this person’s past mistakes and skeleton’s. He knows the relationship that used to exist and this person’s feelings, true and deep. However, my dad still feels that those feelings have resolved – – that this particular person has come to terms with the limitations that have been placed on him. . . and further, he believes that everything this person has done, said and given have nothing to do with what’s gone past, or what hopes may lie for a future. My dad feels that I’m being slightly self-important and that this particular situation has nothing at all to do with me.

It’s the reversal in roles here that has me confused. Usually it’s my dad that keeps me real and grounded and keeps my feet in reality. Has my father lost it and has he completely bought into all of this hook, line and sinker? Or am I being cynical and not taking a not-so-simple act of unselfish kindness for what it is? Am I reading too much into it.

I don’t know. Considering my past with this person – – including the not so recent past – – I remain wary. Maybe I am being self-centered. Sometimes if people can’t get their way directly through you – – they begin to go around you and go through the people in your life who are most important to you? Who, besides my children and C., is most important in my life? Who has always been the most influential person in my life? Whose opinion matters most? Who has my undying love and devotion? My father, that’s who. So am I overly surprised that this person has used an emotional situation and is attempting to use that situation to secure a place in my father’s eye – – a place where this person can do no wrong? Is this person such a great manipulator that he can fool even my father? The cynic of all cynics?

This evening’s developments have me a bit worried. Not scared-worried….but more like, I’m wondering when this is going to end worried? I am worried that this is going to be exactly what I expect it to be – – and to find out that everything that has been done over the past weeks have been sullied and tainted because the true motivations will rear their head in pretty short order. I’m worried that is going to happen – – and that will forever be in my father’s memory when he thinks about this time in his life.

Maybe it’s nothing. I hope really BIG hopes that it is nothing. I hope I am just being overly cautions and cynical like my father always said I should be – – especially when those inner triggers are firing and the red lights are going off inside my head that is telling me to WATCH OUT! Maybe my gut is betraying me this time? I guess only time will tell.

I feel I am caught between a rock and a hard place. I don’t want to ruin this moment for my father – – it’s a special and pivotal time in his life. I guess I will just sit back and watch and be ready if anything should go awry. I want him to believe. I want this to be what my father believes it to be.

So, for now, I’ll keep my worries to myself – and not put a voice to them. At least not within my father’s earshot. I’ll just sit back and hope that this person doesn’t ruin it – – – that he does what he needs to do tomorrow night, and walks away. It’s always best to walk away when you’re ahead, anyways. We’ll see.

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