One aspect of my relationship with Phenom is that we actually inspire each other to be our best selves. (I know, gag.)
He has become more patient with others because of conversations we've had about struggles I've seen from other humans. I want to be more generous because of his example.
But, I also find that we have this odd little accountability ritual. We confess to each other when we were selfish or lacked compassion or decided to not be our best selves. We actually never admonish each other as a result of these confessions. In fact, we usually validate the choice. But, it's interesting.
This realization came about the other day when I confessed that I had not been generous.
One of the people who works in my office is sometimes referred to as "the original freeloader" by others in the office. She constantly is hinting around that we should give her whatever it is that we have . . . food, make-up, gadgets, clothes. She doesn't just admire our things, she out-and-out asks for them. My tact is usually to laugh and act like it's an absurd notion. . . me giving you the scarf I wore today. (And, it is absurd, right? The asking, in itself, is absurd, right?)
So, the other day, she popped into my office when I was eating my lunch. I'd made myself a large "asian" citrus chopped salad from a kit. The package itself was large enough that it could easily have been a side item for a meal for a group of people. But, it was my whole lunch . . . that and a chicken breast I'd brought for protein. I was more than half way through my salad when she sat down. She asked what I was having. She exclaimed that she was really quite hungry. She told me that she really thought that salad looked good and that she wished I'd brought enough to share. She asked several times what was in it? Where did I get it? How much was in the package? Did I really eat the whole thing for a meal? Gee, I wish I'd brought lunch with me today.
I let her go on, without suggesting that she should share in my salad (I was eating straight from the bowl . . . no one expects you'd share from your ACTUAL bowl, right?) I didn't mention that I had a whole, uncut chicken breast in a container on my desk that I planned to eat after I finished the salad. I suspected she would have expected me to give her the chicken. But, I'd not had protein with my breakfast, and I had a salad planned for dinner . . . I needed a few grams of protein intake for the day.
Still, I felt as if I had not been generous. I felt that I'd been selfish, and I should confess. The Phenom, of course, agreed that her insinuation that I should share my lunch was absurd, and I had no reason to feel guilty.
Confession is good for the soul. So is validation from your loyal friends.