compensation for a life

If there is a ledger – a bookkeeping – of the extent of my life and the contributions that I have made to this world for better or worse, I would like that the credits fully pay back the debits. I would hope to have given back as much that is positive and loving to the world as I have taken from it. In doing so I may find a very personal form of absolution, one where at the very least I can look at myself in the mirror and not be ashamed, where I can take some small and appropriate measure of satisfaction from those qualities that I do possess, and to do so honestly and with pride. This is, I have come to understand, the beginnings of a sense of decency, of honour and self-worth. The recognition of these qualities and their value to me, as a man and a human being, fill my pockets with the only gold that matters. That is compensation enough, I think, for a life.

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