Almost 3 years ago, I was emotionally hurt. I was cut to pieces, more hurt than I have been for a very long time. I felt so betrayed.
I went to my boss’s wife, who has become like a family to me in Jakarta.
“Oh Jacqueline,” she commiserated with me. She listened to my story and looked at me compassionately. “You must have hurt someone in your past, or you will hurt someone in your future. We don’t know. That’s why you are hurting. You have to do this …..”
She took me to buy nasi uduk (packets of rice with meat and vegetables) and we drove round Kemang looking for beggars and poor people for me to give the packets of rice to. She stopped her car and urged me to get out on my own, with my many packets of rice.
“Look at them in the eye and apologise. Say sorry,” she instructed. “Ask for their forgiveness.”
I was perplexed. Why???? I have not done anything wrong to these people.
“Just do it, iya?” She said serenely. No further explanations.
I remember feeling sheepish, but I did it anyway. The people I gave the rice and apologised to seemed to understand.
Well, things did not get better for me immediately (actually, it got worse for a while), but almost three years on, I must say, life has improved immeasurably from that low point. The flowers in my heart are blooming again in the patch of eternal sunshine that was temporarily clouded over. Whether my act of atonement for a pain I did not know I commit/will commit was the cause of my current blessing, I don’t know. All I know is this is one of the loveliest things I have ever been taught and I immortalised it in my magnum opus, Catching Infinity.
I am reminded of this, because yesterday, my wise soul-sister posted this photograph on social media of her daughter spreading love, with her wish that this child of hers will always do good for people ❤