One day in the midst of my phase of teenage rebellion, I got into an argument with my uncle. I told him that despite his statement to the fact, I did not think he understood how I felt because he had never known how it feels to lose a mother. Angered beyond reason he calmly told me
"Raymond let me tell you something, I owe you nothing, the world owes you nothing. I only do this because your mother was my sister and I loved her."
I have gone through life with those words seared in my memory. One of my uncle's long lasting lessons is that I should expect no kindness because I am not owed it. For a long time those words taught me that I should do all in my power to expect any sort of kindness. I should start the process by being kind and I guess that is what they will always mean to me. My uncle was not the kind of person to say something that mean. We parted ways at some point after that. I saw him many years later at my grandmother's funeral. He got up to give the eulogy and broke down halfway through. I was standing in the back shedding my own tears and I could not help but feel that now he knew how it felt. I have always wanted to have a chat with him. To say thank you for the lessons, sorry for the trouble and to ask him why he did not bother to sit me down and teach me about love and kindness.
Despite carrying that memory with me, I have come to know that I should expect something of life. As sentient beings each and every one of us knows and feels things. I have known and felt profound love and life has taken it from me. It owes me. It owes us as humanity because we feel each other's pain, even the pain of those that time has forgotten. It owes you and me peace and happiness and we are here to collect.