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.