Thursday, February 9, 2012

"People"

         "People" confuse me.  Half the time I loathe them, the other half I am fascinated by them.  In my general dealings with others, I have found that "people" as a whole, or part of a group, are usually rather lousy, disgusting, stupid, and rather repulsive - an unfortunate annoyance that cannot be avoided.  Separate a "people" from the nasty herd, however, get to know him and all of a sudden he becomes an "individual" - nice, smart, interesting, intriguing, with barely any semblance to the "people" creature to be noted at all!  Such has been my long-standing perception:  "People" stink; "individuals" are cool once you get to know them, even if they come from a group of "people" who stink.  
          The key thing to note here is that "people" stay "people" until a level of personal knowledge has been met.  Thus the "people" one passes in the street remain so, even though they are not part of an immediate crowd.  Up until quite recently, I have been content at leaving "people" as "people", with little to no interest, actually a bit of aversion really, in making any sort of initial contact that might change their status to "individual".  I believe this is a direct result of fear.  Fear of the unknown "people"; fear of being vulnerable and opening myself up to the potential hurt that could result in changing a "people" to an "individual"; fear of rejection; fear of being misunderstood; fear of persecution.  Foolish, I know, but living in the fear seemed safer and less scary than doing anything to conquer it.
          Then, my sight started to change, much to my chagrin.  The "people" I met on the street, in the store, at church somehow were no longer being seen as such, but their potential for "individual" was becoming more and more apparent!  I am beginning to see the "individual" in "people" I haven't even spoken with.  In a glance met, a smile given by a stranger, the "individual" shines through, almost like some sort of deeper, almost magical (well, maybe more like divine, really) reality hidden in the humdrum of society, waiting quietly by to give deeper insight to any that might chance to see.  
          And I am beginning to see - after a long, long time in the darkness of the unknown, the confusion, the loneliness, the pain - I am beginning to see the Light again.  I am learning once again what it means to be me, after a tempestuous time of being lost.  There is Hope, there is Life, there is a greater reality for the seeking, hidden even among the faces of strangers.  "People" may yet still be stupid, disgusting, and lousy on the surface, but somewhere underneath, there is an "individual" who is waiting to be discovered.  

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