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The "Wu Word" Blog

February 2018

Good and Evil

When I was about 8 or 9-years-old, I heard about the devil for the first time.  I did not know or really understand much about the devil except that the devil was bad news.  I was introduced to words like ‘good’ for God and ‘evil’ for Satan or the Devil, and that you go to heaven if you do good and go to hell if you do bad.  I interpreted that the devil was evil and was the leader of wreaking havoc and hypnotizing others to do bad, while God was good and had all these flowing guardian angels to watch out for us to ward away the bad and the evil.   I was told from my Mom: “The devil can make you do bad things.”
I did not really understand this.  Were God and Devil the masters and we were the puppets that would do good or bad because of them?  Weren’t we in control of our own actions and ways?  Weren’t our environment, friends, family, and life experiences all just as important to bringing out the best and even the worst? 
Then, in high school, I visited prison for the first time as a requirement to my Criminal Law class.  I was absolutely petrified and more willing to take a “F” for failing the class than to have to step foot in a prison.  As my teacher joked jovially, “We are only going to maximum security prison of the mass murderers and not the sex offenders who are in a whole other prison.”  The prisoners screamed profanities that made my classmates and I shake in our sneakers.  After their screaming fest, they served us wide-eyed teenagers tuna casserole with four slices of white Wonder Bread. Surprisingly, the prisoners homemade tuna casserole was very tasty. 
The prisoners who were grown and aging men broke down crying and sobbing: “There is ALWAYS someone watching you!” I wondered if it was the God or the Devil watching them, and watching all of us.   Learning about the criminal law system and visiting these prisoners made me begin to feel sympathy of how they were ostracized and how certain circumstances led to their committed crime in the heat of the moment and not being able to undo the damage they done.  It hit home with me that there are moments that completely change the course of your life and that all the remorse and even guilt in the world cannot undo the damage done on yourself and the people that you hurt.  It hit home with me that people can never really forget and forgive.   
Then, in college, I took a social psychology class.  We had a whole course on the mind and actions of murderers that can heavily be caused by society, our social settings and situations, our upbringing, and our experiences.  My professor said: “We are quick to blame and call murderers ‘monsters’ and I am not alleviating them or anyone of sins and committed crimes, but I want you to think about what drives a person to kill?  What are the explanations behind the actions to then remedy them?”  I took away from this class that everyone plays a part and there is always a side to every story based on our very own reality.  No human is free of flaws and sins. In footage, murderers’ faces were blank and empty expressions and, the scariest of all, a smirks or what appeared to be an evil glimmer of satisfaction.  With a chill that blanketed me, this is when I began to believe and understand that evil does exist and question: “Are people born evil?” 
Recently, I learned about a boy no more than 8-years-old who is being trained alongside his classmates of the three following drills: Weather Drills, Fire Drills, and he could not remember the name of the third drill, but it was a ‘lockdown drill’ where he and all his classmates must hide and keep quiet.  This pierces me in a way I cannot put into words of the world we are living in.  I believe that as much evil exists, there is also good.  It has been hard for me to focus on the good in these times, and I sense the heavy and heartache and anger and bitterness around more people than not.  I also know that there are positive changes of light that must be made in a world that is hurting and appears to be quite dim and dark now.  I do not know the answers, and am filled with more questions of God and Devil, good and evil, and the flawed humans we are while we try to balance our sinful sins with good deeds. 
I think the world we live in now makes us question and ponder more than ever about the good versus evil.  Are people born or have a predisposition to evilness or evil tendencies and actions?  How about on the flipside- are people born good?  When were you told of God and Devil and do you believe in heaven and hell?  What causes good and evil?
Keep smilin’,
Mary ;-)


The Chase

February marks almost a full 8 months since I have had my kitty cat Ricky-not that I am counting.  8 is a lucky number in Chinese. 
In the 8 months that Ricky has taken over Casa del Wu, I have learned a lot from him.  I know that sounds or seems silly to learn from a little furball that I end up tripping over because he zig zags joyously around my apartment like it is a mansion, but I have always believed that we always learn something new every single day from everyone and everything that comes into our journey.  Probably the two greatest lessons that Ricky has taught me is to love like you have not been hurt AND that you cannot force anyone or anything.  I am still trying to learn the first lesson. 
Ricky wholeheartedly loves like he has never been hurt—and he has been hurt, but, haven’t we all?  He is NOT a guard cat and would probably ‘attack’ a burglar with love and affection by jumping on him and purring happily.   Many people have come in and out of my apartment in these last few months.  Most were friends and family who has the purpose to meet and spend time with Ricky even more so than me.  There were also strangers who I had to open my door to with the intent to repair an aging apartment.  With all of these people, Ricky greeted at the door with wide and glazed over green eyes as if to say: “Wow!  Check out all these bipeds that are paw-less that I’ve been deprived of!!!”  I think Ricky has met more people than he has in 6 years of his life thus far. 
I was convinced that Ricky loved anyone and anything, until he met one of my family members. I was shocked beyond belief when this family member started chasing poor Ricky who ran away fearfully to find a hiding place.  I had never seen Ricky so petrified and terrified before in my life.  I was scared seeing how scared he was.  I understand now when people say they have a protective instinct and immediately snapped to my family member, “Why are you chasing the poor cat?  Just leave him alone.  Let him come to you.”
Rather than apologizing, she laughed uncontrollably like it was the funniest thing ever to have a cat running around.  This infuriated me even more.  For the life of me, I could not understand how people could find fear as funny.  I could only guess that these people maybe got an adrenaline rush of power and did not know how to respond but with laughter.  I was ready to kick her out, but I decided to take matters into my own hands another way with showing her what I was actually saying.  I calmly sat on the couch, changed the topic about Ricky, and made small chit chat.  Meanwhile, Ricky had vanished into thin air. 
Eventually, when she also realized that Ricky was nowhere to be found, she asked me: “Why is he running away from me?”
“Because you are scaring him when you chase him.  You can’t force or chase after anyone or anything.  Let people come to you.  If it is meant to be then it is meant to be,” I explained.
To confirm this lesson that I have learned in life that was only solidified by Ricky, Ricky peeked out from behind the couch, strolled over to me with his tail up in the air, and hopped happily into my lap purring contently.  He looked warily at this relative of mine, sniffed her and let her pet him gently, and then looked at me as if to say: “Good job-you are learning and teaching well.” 
We cannot force or ‘chase’ anyone to like you or spend time with you.  We cannot force or ‘chase’ anything to happen.  I am all for setting goals and making the plans and going through the process and persistence to attain what we wish, but there is a very fine line between TRYING AND FORCING.  You can ALWAYS try, but you cannot force. When trying ends up empty-handed and then you continue to keep on, then that turns into forcing or chasing and, eventually, becomes control.  Control is something none of us possess.  If you do not end up getting what you went after, then it was never really meant to be yours from the beginning.  There comes a time when you develop confidence (mind you, not arrogance) in yourself and your own worth and who is just that worthwhile in your life.  When have you ‘chased’ after someone or something?  How did ‘the chase’ end for you?      
Keep smilin’,

Mary ;-) 
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