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This story brings to mind a different perspective on kindness. The story was from a book by Carlos Castenada, the chapter was call a “summersault into the inconceivable”. I suspect that this comes under the general heading of “magical thinking” and I would agree under the “rational” theory of Green Psycology.
The story was about a Yaqui Indian named Calixto Mundi who lived at the time of the Spanish occupation of Central Mexico. He wanted to rebel agaist the Spanish and set his people free. He learned how to be a pirate and about war. He came home only to be betrayed, fail and die.
However, in the eyes and language of the storyteller, in the actions of will and intent and the elements of belief alone and not because it makes sense nor because of the truth in this reality; but somewhere in unknown in that “summersault into the inconceivable” Calixto Mundi was victorius and he sent his people free.
So, I think, we choose the memories we keep of those we love and what they meant not because they are true but because that tiny victory of committing a good deed;(filling a refrigerator with food),is a victory we keep to honor them and ourselves. We raise them and to a higher place in the inconcivable.
Of course for me it would only be a kindness in the exteame. If the brother were alive I would so make it clear who bought the groceries.
Janet – thanks for sharing your perspective. I appreciate the distinction you’ve introduced about the memories we build of those who have died versus the memories we build of those who are alive.
I soften myself when I think of allowing the mother to believe that her son’s last act, before dying, was to put food in her refrigerator. On the one hand, this seems kind.
On the other hand, anytime that I am less than honest with another person, I sense the distance between us grows.