A Life’s Note: Benefit of the Doubt

by Bayu Adi Persada

Most of the times, we can’t ask for things that fall in our yard.

We may expect newspaper to be thrown on our terrace. But we only find car wash leaflet in the morning instead. Out of a sudden, we then get angry because this is not the first time the messenger didn’t do his job properly. We call the dealer and without letting him put some words, we flush him with anger and keep ranting.

After we are tired of ranting, man over the phone speaks briefly, “Sir, I’m really sorry. Our messenger died yesterday. He was hit by a bus when cycling to your neighborhood. The driver was drunk, they said. I am sorry again, we will pay you back.”

Silence is keeping us in the dark. Alone.

We then shed tears unconsciously. It all seems surreal. How could he die so tragic, we might think. How come we ranted like that about the poor old man. Now, he died! Nothing we can do. Except regretting what we just said for the rest of our life. We only have ourselves to blame.

Meanwhile, in a house across the street, a whole family is ready to start their first breakfast together in years. They are having steam bread and half-cooked egg, embracing this rare occasion with prayers before getting to their meal. One of the elderly in the family says, “I was really looking forward for this moment to arrive. Finally, it’s here. We all gather for the first time since I don’t know when. Let’s not forget to thank the Almighty for His blessings. I know we still haven’t had my oldest son, father or my granddaughter, around. Even though I’m not sure he’s still alive. I have this little faith he’s out there somewhere looking for his way to this home.”

His cute granddaughter, just in her third year, is barely awake. She is still lying down comfortably on her mother’s lap while Jean tries to hold her sorrow towards uncertainty of his husband’s fate.

This family never hears any news about his son who was sent to the battlefield a year ago. The army have been searching everywhere but until now, they fail to get imminent result.

While they are enjoying their meal with smile and little laughter, someone knocks the door. Jean puts his daughter gently on top of the sofa then walks to the door. She asks, “Who’s there?” “We are from the army.”

Her heart beat is suddenly racing. It might be bad.

“Mam, I’m sorry to disturb you. I have a big news we think your family would love to hear.” Jean just nods.

“Sergeant Eddie is alive. He’s now at our facility. We’re taking care of his recovery intensively. Representing the army, we want to give our respect and congratulation to your husband achievement. Your husband is a hero, Mam.”

Without able to speak words, Jean hugs her guest right away. She’s crying with happiness.

Two stories above are fictional. I just made them up. Anyway, it doesn’t matter, does it? Whether the stories don’t happen in the real world.

Or maybe they do. We don’t know it yet. I mean, I made stories that are commonly happening around us. So, we shouldn’t close the door just yet.

I can say those stories are contradictory to each other. With one story reveals sudden anger based on assumption leading to deep regret, the other one shows how keeping a little faith pays off with great surprise. We simply don’t know what awaits us at the next life intersection.

A doubt can be very rewarding sometimes. We just need to give a little time for life to heal itself. I’m not quite sure though how the phrase ‘life healing itself’ matches the context. Anyway…

A doubt can force us to think the rational. Is it the right thing to do? Where should we go? Do we have to do this now?

As long as doubt doesn’t shroud the whole mind, we’re fine. The important thing is, we know how to stop the doubt and start making choice and living it.

Because life is about living the consequences of our choices.