Sunday, 11 November 2012

Day 106: Regret

While we were walking back from putting the horses in the neighbour’s field this morning, we saw that there was a random cardboard box standing next to the fence of the neighbour’s field in which the cows were grazing.

Gian went to check it out saying “Let’s make sure there’s no puppies in there” – and as he said that, a memory popped up of when I found a box with puppies in it.

I was in high school, maybe 16 years old. It was walking away from school down the station but decided to first go to the public library before catching a train home. As I was walking past the station, I saw a cardboard box next to one of the bins. I went to check it out and there was a whole bunch of golden puppies in it.

At first I was shocked, because I had heard of these type of things happening but I had never seen it before ‘in my face’ type of thing. My school was in a red light district, in a kind of poor part of the city and I wasn’t sure if anyone would walk by here that would be able to help these pups.

I was looking at what I should do. I wanted to grab the box and go home, show my parents and make a plan. But then I remember how my mom would always moan about dogs, as they used to have a dog and he started destroying furniture and doors, and then gave him away. Not that I was planning on keeping these pups per se, I just wanted to get them out off the street and to a place where they could be taken care of.

So then fear kicked in, because I didn’t want to upset my parents and I didn’t want to get into trouble. I was also scared that I might run in trouble on the train, as I didn’t know for sure what the regulations were concerning pets – and again: I didn’t want to get in trouble.

So in the end I decided that it was ‘not worth it’, that I was ‘too scared’ and so I walked away and went to the library. All the way walking to the library and then walking from the library back to the station, I was worried about the pups and what might happen or have already happened to them.

Just as I was about to get to the entrance of the station, I take a turn to get to the other side where I had initially seen the box. When I got there the box was gone.

On my way home I kept telling myself that ‘someone else probably sorted it out / took care of them’ -- but how could I be sure? That neighbourhood was a bit dodge, who knows what could have happened to them. And I’ve since then always regretted not having picked up the box and make sure that they went somewhere safe.

As I walked through the memory on our walk back to the farm, I looked at how I would have handled the situation now, and looking at it now, the ridiculousness of my behaviour is very evident. If I had to be faced with the same situation now, I would have picked up the box without hesitation, take it home and make a plan – and if it turned out to be a problem on the train I would have just dealt with it because it really shouldn’t be that big of a deal. But who I was at that point, even though what I did was ridiculous and stupid – the fear was so intense and so real, that I felt like I had no other choice but to obey it – fear was my reality and not common sense practical consideration.

The particular point that sticks out for me in this memory, is the point of ‘authority’. Where both my parents and the train person in his uniform represent points of ‘authority’ – and where even if these authority figures did not make sense, I would not want to go against it out of fear of getting into trouble. So what’s always bugged me about this memory, is that I chose fear as self-interest in terms of not wanting to get into trouble over the certainty that those pups had been taken care of – where I rather allowed the possibility of them dying or being abused to exist over me stepping up within myself and do what I see needs to be done regardless of how particular authority figures may have reacted to that.
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