What if you can’t right your wrongs?
Shades of grey will never change if I condone/
Turn this page, help me change, to right my wrong/
-Ronald Isley, from How Much a Dollar Cost by Kendrick Lamar (Clean)
What if you can’t right your wrongs? What if you can only make new rights?
If life is a journey down the one-way street of time, perhaps you missed a turn and with time there is no reverse. You just have to take the next right that comes up.
Perhaps that’s an even more perfect analogy for our morality than we’d like to admit. Let’s continue.
Maybe you have to forgive yourself for missing the right turn. It’s too late anyway. Holding on to it and overfocusing on it doesn’t do any good. Perhaps hyper-focusing on it distracts you from making the next right.
Maybe you apologize to your passengers who are in the car with you as they have been affected by you missing what was right. You acknowledge you weren’t paying attention, didn’t know, refused to follow the directions, or wanted to go your own way. Either way, they’re owed an apology. A heartfelt one. Not a flippant one. And definitely not avoidance. You can’t go back and make the right happen, but you can apologize that you didn’t make it.
Maybe there are other cars behind you who can’t hear your apology and you’ll have to repeat it to them as well. That sucks. But you’ll just have to let it suck and do it at the next stop.
Maybe you accept forgiveness.
You allow the echoes of “It’s ok” from the other passengers to seep into your soul. You allow the silence from others who can’t/won/t say it yet to settle, allow them to have their feelings, and try not to take it personally.
You’re sad they haven’t said it yet, but you’re already on the journey of seeking forgiveness and maybe they’re on the journey learning how to give it. So you give them what you’d want them to give you…some time. You’ll try to make it right at the next opportunity.
Maybe you reconcile.
Trust is restored with some of the other passengers, though not all. And it’s not that you’ve had the time to do anything, it’s that, for some of them, saying sorry was enough to restore the balance and they’ve given you their trust again. It’s a free gift. And you enjoy that gift and are present with them, laugh and have great conversation, while keeping your eyes open for the next turn.
With others it will need to be earned back at that next opportunity. Others will need several opportunities. Others may never trust your driving again, unfortunately. Even after ten right turns correctly made and lots of time passed. But, that’s on them eventually. And you don’t stop making right turns. You just keep on moving.
Maybe you don’t and stay lost.
But the choice is yours it seems. And whether people are in the car with us, or behind us, people are affected by our decisions. We tend to think there is an isolation that keeps the impact of our decisions from affecting someone else’s life. Yet your story, your journey, will still influence someone in some way, even a stranger.
And we’re all going to miss a right. It happens. Maybe daily.
But what’s the cure? Forgiveness and another peek at the directions.
Keep it moving.