Once, this KA girl was visiting LA with her parents. Her parents are friends with my parents. Anyway, I was in my mom’s environment, and thinking/being in that mode. In earnest desire to be kind and caring, I gave this girl various jewelry that I had gotten for myself.* She didn’t seem particularly grateful. And in fact, she is someone that had always struck me as kind of selfish, so there is no reason that I should have expected otherwise. I regretted it soon after, feeling like an idiot.

This is just one of those endless memories that might surface to my mind when I have quiet for myself, filling me with a sort of regret. I’ll ask myself, “Why did I do this thing that is not like myself to do?” and in cases like these, “Why do I keep thinking that erring on the side of kindness is such a good thing when it comes at a direct loss for me?”

Today, after having moved recently, I was arranging and organizing my jewelry, and I was reminded of what might explain my act that sunny afternoon. Whenever I visit my parents in Los Angeles, my mom gives me her jewelry –the ones she seems to have bought because she likes them for herself, that she wants to be able to wear– without a second thought, at the sight of them. In this last trip, she did it again. And I only realized that she actually likes the latest ones she gave me because she wore them, after I returned them to her because I’d gotten my own.

This is the sort of thing that, in this type of alone moment of recollection and being, makes me want to cry.

*All the jewelry I mention here is not too expensive, so that their economic value is not a concern; my mom works at a jewelry wholesaler. Rather, I think that their value for us rests in how they allow us to choose and express, as we pick them from hundreds of options at any given time.

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