I’m scared of people. No, perhaps not people. It’s a certain kind of person(s). It’s that party where the noise is so fierce that it slams into your face repeatedly while people are celebrating, dancing, being happy and free, and my mind goes wondering off into feelings of guilt and anger – why are we so fortunate?
It’s that kid who gets picked last because all the better players were already picked, I can feel him hurting – I hurt with him and I hate the way they pick teams. I remember.
It’s that person who takes my words and minces them up into bite-size chunks, processes them into unintended meanings, labels them with his first-year philosophical “ism” or “istic,”packages them up with his own patronizing platitudes, and roars them into my face – end of conversation.
It’s that unfortunate one whose narrow mindedness (itself the result of larger social problems) partitions the world into restricted dichotomies. Whose fanatical attachment to superstition and tradition prevents him from looking beyond what is usual, to see what is possible. Who insists that I should also engage in what is expected, and punishes my creative spirit when I choose a different way.
It’s that decadent, indulgent, anarchistic, social deviant who scoffs at my choice to be moderate. Who parades his peacock feathers down Main Ave. announcing to the world the importance of libertarianism while shunning my voice when I defend an acceptable tradition of life.
It’s that corporate monster who believes that all conversation is a process of buy and sell. Who guises persuasion with a mask of compassion, and ends intimacy with “here’s my card.”
I’m afraid of the manipulator who takes advantage of my desire for friendship.
I’m afraid of the ever-parent whose answer is always, “you’ll understand when you grow up.” Perhaps I’ll only understand if I give in! I wish you had hung on to those ideals instead of acquiescing to old-age wisdom.
I tremble around those who fear my influence. The ones who think that my moralizing may somehow convert them, and that my expressions of Faith and belief are somehow an attempt to brainwash and control them. If you feel moved to listen that’s not my fault. I’m sorry I’ve affected you such.
The social world frightens me. It requires me to perform a masquerade and I’ve never felt comfortable behind a mask. I’m not malicious and I wish they could see that, and I wish I could see exactly what they were thinking.
Perhaps we could speak honestly? You could look at my face and read my discomfort, then you would tell me outright “I can see you’re uncomfortable, am I right?” Thank you.
Perhaps you could say, “I’m offended right now, and you may not have meant it. Can we talk about that for a moment?”
Perhaps I could express that “You’re challenging me and the way that I see the world, maybe I’m not ready for that yet.”
Perhaps we could treat truth like an object at the centre of a room in a castle with an infinite number of windows. Through our inter-subjective exchange of ideas the object is better understood.
Perhaps we could determine what is right from what is wrong by systematically applying an idea to different situations and then evaluating the results?
Perhaps we could try to understand that people are the products of many things that converge and create infinite moments. Our social reality is, then, the collision of moments. Don’t waste these.
Perhaps you’re wrong?
Perhaps I’m wrong?
More importantly, why does it matter? I’m not attached to these opinions if it means ruining our encounter.
Perhaps there is something more universal than the economy and the pursuit of wealth? There has to be, and I know there is because I’ve seen it and felt it. Encounters and opportunities, at times serendipitous, otherwise miraculous. Human experiences that give life a sense of awe, wonder, and contentment. Spiritual aspirations that go beyond what is observed and what is accumulated. The stuff of the universe that cannot be commoditized, even if you try.
Perhaps my ideas are exactly what you need? So convert to my beliefs, internalize them, be creative and express them in your own, personal way. I won’t be offended; rather, I’ll be humbled by the fact that I got to be a part of that.
Perhaps we could be honest and open enough to convey our meta-reflections as they’re happening rather than writing them down at the end of the day in a cold and impartial scrapbook – disinterested pages, like old-photos of bad haircuts.
Perhaps your thought doesn’t have to start where mine ends? Why react when we can stop, reflect, and try to understand what it is we just heard. Questions are far more creative and welcomed than criticisms, “Sorry, but i have to think about what you said for a second before I can respond in a meaningful way. Perhaps you could help by answering a question I have?”
Perhaps honest speech doesn’t have to be offensive, crude, or deviant. Train yourself to speak from the heart with tact, compassion, courtesy, reverence, honour, and a sense of insightful justice – like those wise heroes and heroines from epic movies.
I’ve added nothing more to the greater discourse of humanity that what is already known. Some desire these things. For those people, I hope I’ve articulated an idea using words that clicked with you. Others may disagree, but I’m okay with that because I wasn’t being malicious. I’m trying to contribute, that’s all. I want to be helpful, really.
Ultimately, this is my internal discourse, which I’ve shared because I just felt like it. I love you.