I’m a people watcher. I can sit at the mall or a public square and just take in the passers-by. I often ask myself questions as I try to think about this person or that person. They’re just strangers yet we are so inextricably connected. We might never share a word of conversation, make eye contact, or feel anything toward each other but we are sharing life.
The author writes the book, tells the story, and we are moved to tears. We identify with the pain, heartache, and triumph. We recognize their courage, creativity, and deeply appreciate them inspiring us to live in hope. We create platforms of recognition, bestow accolades, and celebrate their accomplishments. I wonder, when did we start to care?
When we hear a powerful story that brings out the champion in all of us there is oftentimes isolation, agony, and some sort of abuse built-in to the story line. On some level it strikes a chord and we rally for the under dog that made it to the top. But what if the author was a passer-by, as we sit watching, when they were actually in the throes of despair? Maybe the little girl being molested, the little boy being beaten, the woman being battered, or the man thinking of suicide passed within inches of us.
Does our interests begin at publishing? Does our support happen the most when it’s needed the least? We don’t usually makes Rock Stars out of people unless there is correlation between our stories. An intimacy transpires when we identify ourselves within the story being told. We are moved by them, because secretly, they are telling our story. They are us! At least enough like us to care about.
I can’t help myself. To me, the magic isn’t in whats being shared as much as it is in sharing itself. This is what we wanted before it happened. Before the nomenclature of terrible injustices, included us on the list of survivors, we wanted people to care. We hope for someone to reach out in kindness and give a hoot about what is going on in our lives. Much crying is done without tears. We often don’t hear the inner wailing until someone acts out or makes it out alive or doesn’t make it at all.
We know life is not all pain and suffering. It has great joy and celebration too. The best balance isn’t created by extremes. It’s less risky to live from the center. Just suppose being caring, empathetic, and altruistic is the prescription for what ails us. If our caring and sharing does so much after the fact just imagine what it could do before or even during times of brutality. Maybe our ultimate isn’t to walk in sunshine. Maybe, just maybe, it’s dancing in the rain.
I sit watching. Who are you? What are you going through? What’s behind those eyes? That smile? Are you avoiding eye contact for a reason? Are you okay? I need to feel the energy, the inspiration, and the responsibility to not let you walk alone. So that I won’t be alone either. If I’m not careful you will pass by me and we won’t even know one another is there. May I join your party? Who wants to celebrate by themselves? I see you everyday, on the bus, at the store, or in the hall at work. I’d love to know your name.
Pass me not! Caring about you does so much for me!