We’ve all seen the show, right? Or, even better, a real life example? I feel for those people. The pain on their face is difficult to watch, isn’t it? The immense sadness the producer only scratches the surface of for display is a good hook. The history of a person is edited into a 45 minutes time segment for the world’s entertainment. That peek into a strangers life typically causes us viewers to contrast and compare. “Oh shit! The kids pulled the toy baskets out again…” I imagine, for some of us, a household toy collection container spilling sounds eerily similar to how a Hoarder’s home looks (ya know, if looks had sound). Clean it uuuuupppp!!!
I don’t think we’re much different than those homes. No, not all of us have tunnels as hallways, paths carved through our abundance of stuff, making a casual walk to the kitchen for a Cherry Zero Coke a crossfit workout. I’d say, similar to the overwhelming mountain of knick knacks, trash, and treasures saved in those homes, our minds are a collection of thoughts and ideas often saved from years and downloaded from generations past. I’m not going the cliche’ route, ending this here by saying “Lets clean up those thoughts, grab a broom! Clean up those rooms, make space for new ideas!” Barf…nope. I want to stay in the filth, let’s roll around in it. What kind of shit is saved here, OMG, is that actual shit? Let’s put our noses in our mess and learn something about ourselves, shall we.
Seriously though, who am I to say this? Honestly, I don’t know and to answer the question, probably no one in the grand scheme of things. My imposter syndrome is strong when I write these things. I feel stupid quite frequently, as we all do, I’m sure. The highest level of education I have completed and made tangible is in the form of a High School Diploma. I have some college but…I struggle to finish for many reasons. With all that said, let me tell you something, my absence of the hard, concrete social beliefs that people hold onto is something that has taught me to feel passionate enough to hide behind my computer and type these words. Maybe my lack of specific direction, keeping me focused long enough to pursue a degree, and my wildly diverse, broad experience as a small-town boy/young man has taught me something about people? Maybe the struggle to find balance within societies “rules,” while being stuck in the deep valley between playing football/wrestling/baseball with my classmates and competitive dancing with girls from another town kept me lost for long enough to sit back and observe what most people were busy chasing?
I’ve been told I’m agreeable. I’m not. I’ve been called adaptable. I am. I’ve been called a faggot by peers and parents as a child before I knew what reproductive organs were used for. I’m not and you’re terrible, narrow people for using that word. People with my training and skills have been called a terrorist by elected officials. I’m not. I’ve been called dumb. I’m not? I’ve been called a lot of things based on assumptions from ignorant stacks of tailored character traits that were used to survive in one culture, different from my own, left over and passed on from one generation to another.
I’m agreeable, or I’m perceived as agreeable because I understand the glimpse you’re giving me into your history. I feel it’s not my place to challenge you. Why? Because I don’t know you, no matter how much I know you…
I’m adaptable because I observe before I speak. I try to first understand your words and actions, looking for the reasons for YOUR beliefs. Sometimes, I overlook bad traits because I understand I’m no match for someone’s lifelong reality.
While I was a security training instructor, I remember teaching the use of deadly force module during a trimester training session. During the presentation, I mentioned the “Disparity of Force” theory. We discussed scenarios where people would be authorized and justified in a court of law to use deadly force against an attacker. This disparity of force levels the playing field between the attacker and the victim. It balances strengths and weaknesses so people intending harm do not have an unfair advantage. For example, a 250lb MMA Champ attacking a 98 year old woman is not a fair fight. A reasonable person would believe the 98 year old woman would be justified in defending herself in that scenario. (For the record, I do not believe Daniel Cormier would ever harm America’s Grandma, Betty White)
This juxtaposition of this visual; justifying a sweet, elderly woman to deal a deadly consequence to an attacker is a great segue into this point. A disparity is defined as a great difference. When there is a difference, there is bound to be the need for balance ESPECIALLY when similarities forgotten, often due to being so obvious they’re invisible. We are all HUMAN BEINGS. There is no disparity between us left to balance if you ask WHY enough, eventually making your way back to our beginning.
We all started when a man and a woman had sex. However, before we beat our competitors into the egg, the very act that got us to the egg is different for all of us. I know…gross. Sorry, Mom and Dad, you probably never imagined your fetus would use it’s cause in a blog post. I need to start a new paragraph, NOW.
Did your parents love each other? Were you planned? Was your conception’s reality a happy experience? Those questions are difficult to type…I feel like I’m attacking people. Please know that I am not. If you’re here, during this time in space with me, breathing, pumping blood through your veins, and alive, you are a human being and I do not know your story. I respect your existence, you can tell your story.
Our minds are full of remnants gathered from a lifetime lived a certain way. We organize and sort those items to the best of our ability. These collections, however, are never on display, only assumed to be similar to everyone’s because we are all human. Our mental “safes” are never cracked open and put on a television show for all to analyze. The contents of our minds are assumed from a distance, comparing our actions to those known from one special, unique human experience. Brock Lovett spent his life searching for a safe that should have contained a valuable necklace. He assumed a safe in a rich man’s rented room would contain a fairy tale valuable. After all, a safe has valuables, especially if a wealthy man owns it, right? Rose had it the whole time. Boom, Titanic analogy. Anyways… When there is a discrepancy with what we see or hear in others, we’re quick to think different is wrong, or incorrect.
Are you religious? What religion? Why? Republican? Why? Democrat? Why? Libertarian? Why? Socialist? Why? Anarchist? Why? Brown skin? Why? Fair skin? Why? Dark skin? Why? Pro-Life? Why? Pro-Abortion? Why? Pro-Gun? Why? Anti-Gun? Why?
How can we find balance in the spectrums of decisions, and the reasons for those decisions above?
We are the result of the breadth of our experiences from the second we are conceived. I cannot confine my beliefs to a few buckets of absolute certainty. My certainty is not someone’s reality as your certainty shouldn’t be mine. Is our only true commonality that we are alive? Why do we need to identify with something other than the fact that we are all human beings?
1189 words later, I don’t have an answer, just questions. I carefully use these questions as a foundation to understand people. Often times, the assumption of agreeableness is actually the perception of being “one of our own.” I’m quietly MY own, 1 out of 7,794,798,739.