by Dave Markwell

I am a notoriously impatient driver. I am not an aggressive driver, but I know the rules and expect others to know and follow them as I do. I am often disappointed. In these moments, my expressions of displeasure range from simply shaking my head to a finger-pointing admonition or a finger-raising admonition, depending on the indiscretion. Usually, I just swear really loud.

A few years ago, when my daughter was still sweetly nestled in her baby car seat behind me, a distracted driver in front of me failed to recognize the green light and sat until it turned yellow, then bolted through, leaving me sitting through another long traffic cycle with my red light.

While waiting for my turn, I must have exclaimed a few juicy words, though I am not certain since I blacked-out in my rage. I suspect that I must have yelled some bad words, because upon leaving the stop line when my light turned green, I heard my lovely little baby girl muttering “F#CKER, F#CKER, F#CKER…” I think these were some of her very first words.

In shock and fear finishing my drive home, I contemplated first: how was going to explain this to my wife? Next, I pondered how truly our kids mirror us. This can be good or not good depending on what we do…

This idea holds true not only for our kids, but also everything else in life, as well. The face we shine into to the glassy water is the face reflected back at us. Like the water, the face we greet the world with returns to us. Some call this karma. Some call it justice, poetic or otherwise. I don’t know what to call it, as its shape and form changes, but I believe it to be real.

Having the benefit and burden of our “higher” human intellect, free will is ours. With this, the ability and capacity to create is ours. This is our super-power. And it begins with the face we choose to point into the mirror.

All of life is a choice. A lot of excuses are made and justifications evoked and cop-outs copped, but when the leaves fall and the tree of life stands bare, we all have choices. These choices determine our outcomes. And our inevitable results begin with the face we point at the world: the who and how we are. We make our own weather. We put the rain in the clouds and we craft the glorious sunrise. The power is ours.

In the end, our will to choose well determines the lives we live. We own our lives. Our currency is choosing well. Being flawed human beings, though, we must take care to not be too hard on ourselves when we make imperfect choices. Sometimes these choices wind up being not so bad after all…hey…it’s funny hearing a baby swear…

[EDITOR’S NOTE:”Feel Good Friday” is a regular column written by Des Moines resident Dave Markwell, who just published his first book called “A Feel Good Life” (buy it on Amazon here). Dave also extols to all neighbors: “Enjoy where we live. Put your feet on the pavement and truly feel how great it is to live here!” Also, you can “friend” Dave on Facebook here. Or work out with him at his exercise company Waterland CrossFit!]

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