The Nerdy Ramblings No One Really GetsWhether you realize it or not, dear reader, you are a perpetual student of humanity. Whether you're observant or not. Whether you're a lousy student or not. Yes, even if you're extremely cranky or antisocial. You are, in fact, a student of humanity.
From infancy we learn behavior from others, and we either add certain behaviors to our repertoire of daily interactions, or eliminate them, according to social code. It may be subtle things at times. Maybe you forgot to say thank you until someone else said it first, and you suddenly become more aware. Other times, it may be more direct and formal, such as learning a different language. At the same time, among the billions of students on the planet, we are surrounded by billions of teachers.
Khalil Gibran once said "I have learned silence from the talkative, tolerance from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; Yet, strange, I am ungrateful to these teachers."
At some point in our lives, there will be teachers we will owe our present existence to. Whether we wish to remember them or not is up to their manner of teaching. So, gentle reader, be aware of the kind of teacher you become, as well as the kind of student you continually shape yourself to be.
It can be difficult to be kind, patient or even civil when you haven't been subjected to situations that require these traits, but I figure that as long as we continually mix mesh, and try to remember we're only human, we all can lead interesting lives and figure out that we didn't do too bad after all. My favorite comedian Adam Hills put it this way,
“Maybe everyone’s inflatable. Maybe every single person on the planet’s inflatable or deflatable. And you can inflate or deflate everyone you come into contact with. And you know you've inflated someone ‘cause afterwards they go like this ☺. And you know you've deflated them cause afterwards they go like this ☹. And if you can inflate as many people as you can, you've probably had a pretty good life. Maybe if you can inflate people after you've gone, that’s how you know you've had a really good life."
There are givers in this world, and there are takers. Sometimes we're one, sometimes the other, and often times we're both. It's just a matter of what we're taking and giving away...
I'm not sure if anyone will read this, and quite frankly, I don't care. I've spent too much time with my own thoughts; and so I've finally decided to write them down, and throw the proverbial bottle into the ocean. Hope someone gets it, if not, maybe someday I'll be able to actually verbalize my grandiose ideas about what is noble and virtuous and good. Maybe I'll find one friend on the planet who won't laugh at the way I talk or think, or criticize my ideals. That day isn't today, but I've had enough inarticulate frustration!
I have dreams, aspirations, hopes and desires I might never see fulfilled, but I'll be darned if I won't get to talk about them, even to you, my unknown reader.
I just want to reach into the soul of humanity, and pull out it's beating heart and marvel at it's beauty and it's ugliness. To be surrounded by mankind's languages, cultures, glory and lowly stink. I want to be a teacher of what is true and just. To inflate others everyday.
As deeply as I wish to engross myself in all these things to dive into the deep lagoon and feel no top or bottom to the learning experience, I find myself looking out at the tide pools from behind a fence.
It's a massive journey, like exploring the stars, discovering new worlds. There's literally no end to what we can learn! And as badly as I want the ones I love to come with me, they have no desire to see those far off planets. Oh, out of courtesy, they'll nod politely at the orbiting masses when I point them out, but they have no desire to explore them in depth.
Speaking of space, did you know that in 1977 the Voyager Program sent out 2 unmanned probes into space? That in itself isn't very impressive nowadays, but if, in their many years of deep space travel, some intelligent life form were to get a hold of these probes, within each vessel is the Voyager Golden Record (phonograph records). It was meant to serve as a time capsule for whoever, or whatever may have run across the probes.
Curious, this too was a "bottle in this cosmic ocean". So what if someone ran across it? What if someone figured out how to play it, and looked at the many images of earth and the teeming life upon it? What if someone listened to the carefully selected sounds and songs of the planet? What picture does this paint of mankind? A positive one no doubt. In fact, NASA was given flack for having a picture of a naked man and woman on the record, to they compromised by replacing it with a silhouette of the couple. The contents of the record, granted, were only to serve as a slight glimpse of our world, but if there was more they could have included, what else would they have put on there?
Let's be honest, we're not the friendliest bunch. We kill our brothers, mistreat our sisters, forsake our children, starve out those who cannot help themselves, mismanage the land, and squabble in the name of an entity who clearly supports no one nation over another. (Though they would swear it to be true.) Do you think NASA would have included images of cities devastated by war? How about the face of a a child about to die like millions before him from malnutrition? Would they include the sound of someone shouting in anger? Do you think there's any image or sound on that record which represents the entirety of mankind that shows us for what we really are?
There is, however, one particular song they put on the record which I found to be a little redemptive. Written by Blind Willie Johnson, the song is called "Dark Was the Night Cold Was the Ground". There are no lyrics to the song, mostly humming and guitar accompaniment. It was put on the record to communicate the feeling of loneliness. Fitting, I think, maybe even a little poetic, if the record were ever discovered and played, how would you describe that feeling to someone else? You can't really, only thing you can do is feel it. And even so, how would you describe the difference between being along and being lonely? We may be alone in the universe, but our planet as a whole is not lonely. On the other hand, one person may be in the company of a million people, yet feel lonely.
Physical presence doesn't really ensure a sense of belonging. That's why, when I venture off into any form of "formal" humanitarian studies I like to play that track in the background. Just searching for those spectacular orbiting masses, solo. And you know, I find solace in it. It tells me I might be a little lonely, but I'm not feeling it alone.
I didn't really know how to start, and I'm not sure on how to finish. I just wanted to say that there's more to me than this stagnate and shallow existence I seem to lead. Apparently that's perfectly normal for everyone around.
Yeah, well, it's not.
There's a whole world that's meant to be experienced, touched, felt, tasted... whether in hot intensity or sweet nuances. I want it all at once, to drink from the fire hose, because quite frankly, the eye-dripper is getting really old. Why can't others see it the same way?
If you've been reading up to this point, sorry to waste your time, but thanks for giving it a go anyway...