Sometimes I wonder if I should have some journal prompts at hand, because when I review the past day, I can't find anything remarkable to write about. Or perhaps I should make a point to push a little bit further in my comfort zone because I not ought to have an unremarkable day.
Now that I see it this way, I do see it was remarkable in its own way. I did some gardening, now, this is the home of my friends and not my own. There was a tree, an aralia, which needed some pruning so that regain some vigor, it was holding too many branches and you could perceive its effort in keeping itself healthy, as this part of Mexico is prone to all kinds of pests and diseases because of the humidity and heat.
I stripped the branches from the bottom of the tree, and when one of my friends saw what I done she shrieked "George is going to kill us!", apparently he is most fond of this tree and liked its appearance as it was. I justified myself saying that this was what was best for the plant, but looking at the sheer terror in her eyes, I knew I had made a grave mistake.
She proposed various lies to ameliorate George's reaction, but I said it was an honest mistake, there was no point in lying. Then we had a little discussion about the wisdom of the whole situation, which seemed interesting:
I knew there would be an objection to pruning the plant, but I didn't want to ask because I thought the reason would be not worth the health of the plant. Was this a mistake? Sometimes it is, sometimes it's not. If I were to ask my mother "should I throw this away?" the answer would always be "no", and so when my mother is in full control of the contents of a room, it will soon get cluttered because of her hoarding habits.
The crux of the issue is starting to dawn upon me: what is more important, the agency of the person, or the results of that agency? Suppose a person were to ask you to do something clearly but slightly wrong, say... the correct way to place the toilet paper is with the loose end facing the back. If you were to place the paper in their bathroom, doing it your way is wrong. If you were to do this only in your bathroom, it would also be wrong, because it violates your own agency. If you were to do it in a shared bathroom, that would depend on the specific social circumstances.
I feel having discerned my own position in this house, as a guest I should have never overridden the agency of the owners, even if its in the best interest of the plant. There is the crux of the issue.
In the end George's reaction was a shrug of the shoulders: I don't like how it looks, but it's OK. I apologized and we moved on.
I'm fortunate to have such good friends.