Another amazing thing to notice is the dichotomy between the two halves or the wealthy and the poor. I can say the same thing with the so-called educated and the so-called uneducated.
It is amazing to me where we place our attention. For example, I noticed a celebrity walking with a big smile while passing normal everyday people near Venice Beach, California. It would appear that this person noticed that they were being noticed, which I suppose is part of their life. Of course, the celebrity was smiling. However, I watched this person walk past a homeless musician. The musician was strumming his guitar and screaming and hardly anyone paid attention to the musician. One was quiet and the other was screaming for a change. One was proud and one was humble yet, one received accolades and the other was written off as useless and unwanted.
It is amazing how people can scream for help and no one hears. It’s amazing how people can call out, as if they are drowning in their own life yet, no one around them seems to notice or cares to.
I have been working through some ideas over the last few days. What I mean is I would like to gain a new and improved understanding for others. I say this especially for those who impact the world. I want to learn more about those who survive cancer. I take this example for a reason. I want to know why some are quiet and humble and others claim a certain valor from their suffering. And some survivors, well . . . I have interacted with some people who are better and some who believe that their experience somehow makes them an authority on strength and life, which I get – but does their experience make their knowledge more true or powerful than anyone else?
I used to be part of a team that created events for children with pediatric cancer. I raised money to help fight cancer, raise awareness and, if nothing else, was successful. I supported these events to at least bring a smile to a child during an otherwise unhappy time.
I can say that I have met some of the most amazing people at these venues. I can say that some of the heroes I’ve met are no longer with us today. I can recall names like Jake, who was a boy that I never had the chance to meet in the flesh. However, I saw proof that the love and spirit of this boy was lifesaving to others. In fact, I was so moved that I donated my platelets to Jake. As a matter of fact, I wish I could have done more.
Jake is a memory now but his lessons of love and hope are something that I use to strengthen my own personal fabric. I want to be as amazing as this young boy was and if I can achieve half of this, then dare I say it – I would be a very successful person.
I have met others, however, whose loss has altered them, which is rightfully so. I have met and spoke with parents who work hard to honor their lost children.
These parents are the best people I’ve ever met. They’re the best I’ve seen because regardless of their loss, they keep going and they keep working to honor the names of their children.
I applaud them.
There are those who use their loss in every conversation. For example, there was a transaction that was supposed to take place. I had helped a person when they were in need. And so, when someone else was in need of help with their foundation, I found that the same attention was not returned. The relationship soured. However, I never mentioned anything until something was mentioned to me.
I was asked if I was upset about something. I explained, “I’m not upset but I was unhappy when you didn’t get back to me when I asked.”
This person responded in an email that somehow, I was insensitive and that they hoped I never had to have the experience of losing a child.
I would rather nobody have the experience of losing their child. But at the same time, does losing a child absolve people from living up to the dignity of their word.
A promise was made. The promise was not kept. Does this mean loss forgives the dignity of people keeping a promise?
I say again, the dichotomy is interesting.
For example, I knew a person who was excellent in business but horrible in their personal life. Their home life was unsuccessful at best. But faults and all, there were times when I’d hear this person give advice. They’d say, “But what do I know? I’m only a successful businessman who made a business out of nothing.”
Where does this authority come from?
Is it even real?
See, I have decided that there are people who I want to be like. There is a reason for this. In all fairness and humility, I am a person who is in need of growth. I am simple. I am not so proud that I can’t see how life has shown me that I need to pay attention. I need to take note of the signs around me. I need to learn from real people and good people. As it is, I’ve already learned enough from the fake ones.
There’s a story from a movie which I’ve heard about for years and – as luck would have it, the movie was playing on a flight that took me back to New York from Los Angeles.
The movie is a 1988 film called Working Girl in which there’s a scene where a business man talks about a truck that was stuck in the Midtown Tunnel. Apparently, the driver did not realize that his truck was higher than the tunnel’s clearance. They tried to get the truck out but it was the suggestion of a little girl to let the air out of the tires. This is how the truck was removed from the tunnel.
With all the educated minds on the scene, it was a little girl who came up with the idea.
I think this is an amazing lesson to learn.
We live in a world that is filled with ideas and some of the best ideas come from some of the most unthought-of people.
So, what did I learn?
I learned to never be so absorbed in myself (or anyone else) that I miss the beautiful things that this world has to offer. Never turn your nose up so high that it blocks out the light. Oh, and never eat the weird little sausage they give you in the snack boxes that come on flights home from Burbank into JFK Airport.
They’re not so great . . .
I admire how you are questioning everything 🙂