This week there has been a little bit of investigating going on in regards to “the writing on the wall”. In the little world where I spend many hours of my day, the writing on the wall has caused a tremendous amount of hurt and wondering.
This literal act of one individual (or several, the handwriting analysis is still pending) writing statements on a bathroom stall wall about several other individuals, however trivial these statements are, has caused me to think about how often we may or may not ‘see’ the writing on the wall in the real life of the outside world.
The expression ‘the writing on the wall’ originates from the Book of Daniel in the Bible, from chapter five. Peculiar handwriting on a wall occurred and was witnessed at a banquet hosted by King Belshazzar. Daniel was summoned by the King to read it. Daniel read it as the imminent end for the Babylonian kingdom. That night Belshazzar was killed and the Persians sacked the capital city. (Information courtesy of Wikipedia.com)
Sometimes we don’t see that the inevitable is about to happen. We may not realize that the hurt we are causing others is going to turn around and come back on us two-fold. The individual who wrote on the wall in the washroom may have thought that she was writing the truth, but it was, perhaps, a harsh ‘truth’ for someone else to read. How many times have we thought that we were doing what was best for us, only to hurt others in the process? How many times have we tried to read the writing on the wall for other people and felt it was our place to make sure others read it as well?
And, how many times do we see the writing on the wall for others, but neglect to see it for ourselves?
It is often easier to pick out the flaws in others and point out the errors in their ways than to see the ways in which we may have gone wrong. But, many times, those are the same issues or areas for improvement that we should be noticing in ourselves as well.
These writings took place in a bathroom stall where someone saw that blank canvas as an opportunity to right a wrong or to inflict hurt on someone else just for the heck of it. In this case, the individual took it upon herself to write about her peers, whether she knew it was true or not. True, only a limited amount of people would read it – those who frequent the washroom in that part of the building and only those of the female gender, but the individual still put those statements out there for others to read, knowing that it would get back to those whom she was writing about.
Sometimes the writing on the wall is hard to read, even when we know it to be true of ourselves. It’s like looking in the mirror and seeing the true reflection of ourselves – the true people we are, not who we pretend or wish to be. The writing on the wall can be harsh, but perhaps it is there for a reason. If we read it and focus on why it is there, then maybe we can come to some realization about it’s place there in the first place. Is someone jealous of us and our successes? Have we, maybe even inadvertently, done something which has caused others to feel slighted or angry with us?
How many times have we, as adults, also been tempted to write wrongs or to seek revenge through our own wall writing? How many times have we felt it was a good idea, maybe even our duty, to pay back someone for the hurt they have caused us through some wall writing of our own?
It is in our human nature to seek justice and to make ourselves feel better after we have been hurt or betrayed, but, at what cost? At making others feel equally as bad? At the cost of doing something which will cause others to lose respect for us? At the cost of doing something which will cause us to lose respect for ourselves?
Unfortunately, I have seen very few situations where repaying a wrong for a wrong has ever benefitted anyone. Usually, finding the peace within oneself to forgive and move forward is the most conducive way to living a happy life and life where we are at peace with ourselves.
The writing on the wall may always be there, but how we read the writing and what we do with it after will always be what is most important.