I was walking around Salem today. Lots of bums minding their own business, some talking to themselves. Not a one asked for money. I was wondering to myself what circumstances led to them being where they are.
I am sometimes told; you’re so kind, sweet, zen, happy, pretty, etc. And while those are all things that are nice to hear and I appreciate it. I’m not always that. I’m not trying to be that really. I know in this society if you have a positive attribute that people admire or value you’re suppose to augment it. You’re suppose to beef it up, make the best of it. If you’re pretty, bring it out more. If you’re smart, strive to be smarter. If you’re an athlete, strive to be the best.
What about just being authentically ourselves and let who that is shine? In all the “good” or “bad” that that encompasses. We are all a mixed bag of traits and characteristics. We all have so much more complexity than we could ever even realize and express completely.
I was trying to overhear the conversation these mentally challenged were having with themselves. I always find the dialogue quite fascinating. Today I was trying to listen to a man that was about 15 paces from me and he said “so you want to talk to me?” and in my head I responded “yes, why not?” to him. He was immediately taken aback and he just stood there as if not knowing what to do or say and said nothing else out loud after that.
I looked at him and he just stared at the wall in front of him. I had to leave and as we drove off I saw him still there, standing silently still a bit shocked staring at the wall. Poor thing. I hope I didn’t set him too off track. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have these issues. It must be so difficult. I did send him a kiss on the cheek, a big hug and told him goodbye. I don’t have all the answers here.
I do think in life so often people who are likable, charismatic, attractive and have qualities we find appealing succeed through little fault of their own. Just the cards they were handed and sure most have probably learned to excel at them. As I suppose they should. As we dictate things should be, how we should behave.
Life confuses me profoundly sometimes. I don’t find logic to it. How we can leave each other behind like this. I had money in my wallet. Money I have designate specifically to give away: tips, kids selling things, homeless. But I didn’t give out a penny. Because I didn’t want to make any assumptions and I’m still quite shy. But they all looked so defeated and I wasn’t sure I could engage them in the way they needed.
At one point Brad and I were admiring a beautiful building with a copper dome and he said “it’s like Cinderella’s castle” and a homeless woman walking briskly by said “there’s your Cinderella right there” as she pointed at me and kept walking and I couldn’t even muster a thank you as I could clearly see and feel the heavy weight of her life. It took all my strength to hold back tears.
I get that we like to think we are all the master’s of our own destiny but that just doesn’t feel true to me. It doesn’t feel true at all, when I see a child suffering or an animal in distress. I realize to some degree we can influence life but mostly we are like leaves blowing in the wind and some of us end up in the gutter with no one to care. No one to care at all.