I awoke in a depressed mood and then opened an email that contained disappointing news, a reunion that will not take place, largely my fault because of my trip to London via Dubai. But somehow magnanimous became the word of the day and the blog. Its synonyms being generous, charitable, benevolent, beneficent, open-handed, big-hearted, great-hearted, munificent, bountiful, liberal, handsome, princely, altruistic, kind, kindly, philanthropic, unselfish chivalrous, noble;, selfless, self-sacrificing, forgiving, ungrudging, unstinting; merciful, lenient, indulgent, clement; literary bounteous. ANTONYMS mean-spirited, selfish.
Its definition is: generous or forgiving, especially towards a rival or less powerful person, Used in a sentence it meansL she should be magnanimous in victory.
The word came to mind because of a magnanimous gesture on the part of Ed Henry, a man that I had the pleasure of working with years ago. His was the first familiar face seen when I walked into San Rafael Joe’s, the sight of the Marin County Association Retirement party – he was at a table with his wife, daughter and former workers. We were so happy to see another after my long absence from the country. We spoke of the fun we had working with one another and then:
He: And I loved going to court with you! You were so full of fight and you won every case – even against Tony Serra – the famous criminal lawyer
Me: I forgot about how good I was because in my office, County Counsel’s Office – I was not given the respect, encouragement or praise I deserved.
My former boss was also at the party and I told him that he had made my life miserable – his mismanagement of the office and the manner in which I was treated. It felt wonderful airing that grievance – positive Ms. McBride seeking vengeance for a past injury. I am sure many were appalled at my rebuke of the man but I am a firm believer in karma, both good and bad.
The gesture of magnanimity came from Ed Henry. Somewhere a long the line I had lost my wallet and I was totally stranded in San Rafael as I had no money and no means of returning to San Francisco. Ed took the microphone and asked for donations to get me a taxi to get me home. And wonderful people gave me money, the restaurant called a taxi and a taxi driver (not Uber of course) sped me back to the place I call home. I must have done something right somewhere and somehow for the generosity given to me. And then something wonderful happened on the way home – I found my wallet in my purse. It was shoved in a corner. I had called Personal Driver to see if had been left in his taxi and he said no. Touchingly, he got mad at himself for not being there for me. So all is well, that ends well.
I am struck constantly by the fact that if a wrong is committed against me and I follow the guidance of Uncle Dave – people and institutions are struck down. Uncle Dave famously said: “Alexis, stop fighting, go to the sidelines, they will do themselves in.” An example was seen just the other day in Marin. The manager at the Il Fornario restaurant was cruel to me – I was shocked to see that old institution had closed its doors and was being sold. I almost fainted actually – feeling I had great powers. But then my rational mind kicked in – the place was poorly managed, had not really kept up to the times, was dreary and there was a great deal of competition from other restaurants. It really had nothing to do with me at all. But it did certainly feel good – I do hope that the waiter and waitresses have found work elsewhere. They were magnificent, it was Roberto, the manager who was a creep. But one bad apple can destroy everything. Now there is a phrase worth exploring. “One bad apple can spoil the bunch.” That popular phrase is used to refer to a situation in which one person’s negative demeanor or bad behavior can affect a whole group of people, influencing them to have a similar negative attitude or to engage in the same bad behavior.” Where does It come from? The earliest known version of the proverb one bad apple spoils the whole barrel may be found in The Cook’s Tale, in the Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer: “About an old proverb, the words that say: ‘A rotten apple’s better thrown away Before it spoils the barrel.’
So Is not that fascinating? It came from ages ago, from Chaucer.
But can there be a force for good? I am beginning to believe there can be, and it was illustrated at the retirement party. I was incredibly happy to see and then sat next to the widow of one of my colleagues. We had the most marvellous time and conversation tother. The coincidences were abundant – she reminded me that both she and her husband became patients of my beloved Internist at my suggestion She also said that her husband was treated badly at the hands of the incompetent bosses and I now see that he was. He was brilliant but was sidelined in favour of other rather lazy and ineffectual lawyers. But in discussing these thugs the widows and I became closer and she will, I do hope, become a close friend of mine. She is a fascinating woman, very different from me in her life style and habits.
Also at our table was a woman who I had worked with ages ago. She was there with her newly acquired husband – they had been in a relationship for years and years and years but very recently tied the knot. I told her of my marital fantasies., she laughed.
She: Alexis, I can actually imagine you doing that and marrying him.
Me: Thanks for the vote of confidence. But it is most unlikely
I laugh as I write. I sometimes marvel at my life, particularly considering I was born in Saskatchewan and was almost named after the city I was born in – Regina that is pronounced like vagina. But someone intervened and Alexis is such a nice name.
Personal Driver is helping me and I am finally getting things our of storage and into my apartment. It is such fun to find my Vancouver treasures, things I have forgotten about. I have been thinking of wearing a head scarf and found thatI I have a perfect one – one that matches the clothes I am taking to London and Dubai. It does seem like a good omen.
Today I go to an orientation at the Asian Art Museum. I cannot wait, it shall be most enjoyable, I do love that place and the people there, the other volunteers and the staff. Life is good!!