Memorial days, long gone and nearly lost…

but not quite.

I have a real passion. Some people misconstrue it as some asinine attempt at having an opinion on EVERYTHING (sorry, all caps was completely necessary; this is something usually screamed at me by people frustrated by it). I don’t feel compelled to make up my mind about anything, per se. I merely have a way of living with/through/for my kind. Humanity, to me is not anything to ever be brushed aside as something trivial, as another entity outside of and separate from myself. This has gotten me into a lot of trouble in my life. It has also given me a wonderful satisfaction at having truly done my best. I’ve screwed up; don’t get me wrong. I’ve been on the wrong end of life too many times in mine, but I have always fought  my way back to the place I need to be. 

I reach out, in my own way, to all of us. When you think about any art form, it was a way of stretching out a hand to our fellow Wo/Man. Television, Phones, electricity; all ways of connecting us. And this desire goes back to the very beginnings, the first inklings of humanity, in the creations of tribes/villages/cities. The Internet is the ultimate example of this innate urge, to connect with our species. 

We don’t, however, love strangers. This is something lost on us. I’m not talking about sexual love, either, but about a pure empathy for someone we have never been and never known. There are situations to which we can relate, in other peoples’ lives, and we are quick to sympathize: big difference. This is a superficial comparison based upon our own experiences and what we think the other might be similarly feeling. Sympathy is better than nothing, but it is far from noble. 

I can’t bear to look at a fallen soldier, or a car crash, or even roadkill. I can’t help but wonder where they were going, what they were doing, to whom they should have come home…maybe even in just a few short minutes. Other lives flash before my eyes and then I write about them. I am always learning, always changing, always growing. We can’t help it. We tend to shut it out, but that’s a defense mechanism, because it hurts to care. It’s exhausting. It’s easier just to shut out the strangers and only care about the people we know and always have…the people we let into our little circles. But the thing about circles is…they’re always perfect and they have no limit in scope.

Don’t think of the stranger as “someone like you”; imagine being the stranger.

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