The Price of Underestimating


I'm walking a very different path these days and for this, I am eternally grateful. As I prepare for my 4th surgery (2nd in the last 7 months), I have taken to a lot of observing. You see, there is a lot of misinformation outchea about endometriosis and it is taking every waking moment for me to catch up to research and new findings. I'm part of a few groups that provide invaluable information. So, I do a lot of observing.

There are other groups I belong to, faith driven groups that provide viewpoints and teachings to help expand the knowledge of those that read it.

One such group recently shared a from the Lukumi religion. Patakis are sacred stories of the Orishas passed down through storytelling. As you probably already know, I love stories. And I love digging for meanings in those that I know are meant to show us something or teach us a lesson.

Recently, I read the story of Obatala and his enemies. 

Obatala had a business and had not sold anything because his enemy was selling the same merchandise, stolen from Baba, near him. Baba's son realized what was happening and decided to take revenge on his father's behalf. He wanted to punish the enemy of his father for stealing his wares. But, the enemy became aware of his vengeful heart and prepared a trap for him. When Baba's son came to exact his revenge, he fell into the trap and was killed.

WOW, right?! I was like:

Thankfully we had some good people in the group that shed a little light. 

One person stated: The lesson here, as I see it, is not to jump to conclusions and expect the worst intentions from another person. It may prove to be your undoing.

And then my padrino came in and dropped these 3 little words: Never underestimate anyone.

Well, damn!

Not a believer of coincidences and a firm practitioner of turning the mirror toward myself first, I sat and meditated on this particular pataki.

So many of us are clear of right from wrong. We get indignant when someone isn't doing the right thing or when we know a particular situation is unfair. Sometimes, seeing it happen right before our eyes can be infuriating. At times, like the son, we want to take the cause up for ourselves and punish those that are doing wrong.

But, there are always forces moving on our behalf and it behooves us to try and use a calm head to see the full picture and perhaps be open to the idea that we might not have access to the full picture.

Baba's son didn't discuss what he was doing with his father. He allowed the rage he felt toward the thief and in part, allowed his pride as well, to cloud his judgement. Pride will do that sometimes. In this particular story, the son pays with his life. He underestimated that thief. He thought himself above certain things because of who his father was and not having a clear understanding of the person he considered his enemy.

Never. Underestimate. Anyone. 

But also:

It feels like we went from 0 to 60 in 3.2 seconds. Like, does anyone wonder what would've happened if he had just stepped up to the thief and asked what was going on and told him to stop stealing from his father? That could've happened. It probably should have. Maybe spoken to his father about it?

Like the other person stated, jumping to conclusions and assuming the worst meant that there would be a permanent solution to a temporary situation.

This was a reminder to me to take a step back and continue to do the thing that I enjoy doing: observe. After that? Ask questions. After that? Check my pride. I do not go into situations with rose colored glasses (anymore). But I do try to give people the benefit of the doubt. That's important. Now, that's not extended indefinitely so, don't get it twisted. But it is so important to check our own guts before we go poking at someone else's.

Lastly, this was a great big ass reminder for me that, I don't have to take up all the causes. I don't have to take up the unfair fights that are brought to my doorstep because, they're already being handled and, I am made aware of the strife beforehand (sometimes even before the particular situation arises) so, I'm always waiting with a smile because someone was sent ahead to provide both the warning and the solution.