Thursday, April 7, 2011
What We All Share
I think that every human shares the same desire. We all want to be safe, happy and loved. What separates us is how we define those words and the circumstances we are in as we pursue them.
I commute now and I see the same people almost every day. We all have our routines. I stop in Starbucks and grab a coffee, walk to the bus stop and drink it while I watch a Jack Russell race wildly through the town square. His human sits on a bench or rises up to throw a ball for him. The weather changes, her outfit changes, what doesn't change is the sheer joy this small dog has tearing through the park, his tail wagging constantly as he embraces life fully in his own doggy fashion.
Every morning an SUV pulls up and a man leans over, kisses his wife good-bye and climbs out. He opens the back door of the car, retrieves his briefcase and kisses his infant daughter as well. He stands for a moment, waving good-bye to the baby before he closes the door and walks away with a smile.
We are all going to different places, different jobs, different homes, but we all have our routines that interconnect and bind us. We see the same people every day and give nods or smiles of recognitions to one another. We know what stops they get off and when they'll see them next. I know on Mondays an older man in a wheelchair gets on at the same stop at the same time. The bus drivers know as well and will wait for him. We all connect in our daily lives, even if we're unaware of it. I know that on Tuesdays through Friday a young woman who dresses like a small girl will be on the bus as I go home. She carries a doll in a child's backpack and glares nervously about if you make eye contact with her. She is part of my routine and I am part of hers. We expect to see each other as we expect to see the gregarious guy who works at a local grocery store or the sullen couple who sit silently, surrounded by bags of possessions they carry everywhere. We're like a small clock with cogs and wheels, moving together to gain a larger motion.
And that's just one small segment of society. One bus at a certain time in one city. Widen out the view and you have hundreds of people at the same point every day going to their jobs, dropping off their children at schools and day care, all connected in the desire for safety, happiness and love.
It's overwhelming, beautiful and frightening at the same time. Keep expanding and you have a planet full of lives, not just humans but all life. Plants growing, birds soaring, everything breathing and continuing to live or die. We are each so insignificant yet so important. Because as much as we are all the same, we are all so unique and special that it's humbling to think we even exist.