Thursday, August 29, 2013

It Is the Way It Is

We, people, walk around every day in a world where we assume everyone around us functions the same way we do.

We, people, assume that everyone around us knows right from wrong. Not just any right from any wrong, but my right from my wrong.

We, people, assume that those around us know what is real and what is not. We also assume that something not real to me means that something isn't real to someone else--or that whatever the not-real thing is, it is not scary, annoying, frustrating, familiar, or lovely.

We, people, assume we are safe. We assume we are civilized. We assume that safety and civility are not up for interpretation. Safety and civility are like right and wrong, real and not real.

I know a person who sees the way I park my car without checking around the corner to see if anyone is lurking there. He tells me the truth. "You are not safe," he says, this man who lives outside with no doors to lock and endless corners for looking around.

I know a person who looks at the people walking up and down the streets in business suits, in designer jeans, in any old thing that is clean and pressed. My friend smiles and tips his head, he tries to meet their eyes. Nobody looks back, not the business suit, not the designer jeans, not a single clean, pressed person. "I thought we were civilized people around here," he says, shaking his head, all by himself.

We, people, are living different-shaped lives on uncharted planets. If your planet looks like mine, cheers. We can compare our sameness and sit comfortable in our rights and our wrongs, our reals and not-reals, and opine the loss of the safety and civility our planets once knew.

If your planet doesn't look like mine, I want to meet your eyes. I want you to tell me what you see so that I can learn something I don't already know, maybe question something I thought I knew.

Live and let live, because we, people, do not know what the person next to us is going through.

Live and let live, because we, people, can't know what the person next to us is going through.

Live and let live, because we.

People.



3 comments:

Ellen Morris Prewitt said...

Love this post not solely because it makes me wonder if I was the one who did not make eye contact - also because of the beauty of the structure, the clean writing. Thanks for sharing.

Robin R Robinson said...

I know what the guy next to you is thinking: "How can I steal this guy's shoes without being caught." Nice to have met you, playwright.

Stacey said...

I think, perhaps, Robin, that you might have missed the point of this post. Or simply aim to make light of it. Also, your hyperlink through your name is typed in wrong, so it leads to a dead link. If you are, in fact, the photographer the link should have pointed to, it is a real shame if you can't see the same beauty in humanity that you find in nature. Mankind and the animal world are not so different. There is beauty and redemption to be found, even in the least of these.