I often wonder about the state of humanity these days and think we have come to terms with its demise far too easily. As a constant proponent of the belief that “perspective is everything,” I feel we need to seriously ponder the way we see and think about people. So many, and I am certainly no innocent, judge people by one layer of their personality. It’s difficult not to. Most of the time, this “layer” is the most prominent. Unfortunately, the reason for this is because it is the most infuriating or has caused personal grievance in some way. I have struggled with this myself – judging people for what amounted in my brain as what I thought was an implausible transgression against all that is right in the world, against all logic. I will never forget one of the first moments that I began to digest the previously stated demise. My mom and I were walking around the neighborhood and I was telling her about a group of people at school that went to church on the weekdays but drank on the weekends. I wasn’t against drinking. I wasn’t against church. It was hearing these people at church make proclamations they didn’t intend to keep. At least that was my perspective. My mom had a different one. She said, “At least they are trying.” She knew that people had different layers and I had yet to learn this intriguing yet easily forgettable concept. After my frustrations were vehemently expressed with no sanctioning restitution for my stance on the matter, my mom ended the conversation with “Everybody’s human.” To this day, I have to bring that one out often in order for humanities restoration to begin again.
Think about it this way. Think about all of your own layers. Personally, I think about the layers that I love about myself but do not often announce. Then think about your worst layer and imagine everyone thinking that it represents you entirely. Nothing more, nothing less. I certainly wouldn’t want that. Most likely, you are aware of more layers in people than just the one you see most often and have not given said layers the proper airtime in your mind. Think about that time you saw them help someone, or maybe they even helped you. Give their good qualities the proper airtime and a more positive perspective is sure to be had about them.
“A species in which everyone was General Patton would not succeed, any more than would a race in which everyone was Vincent Van Gogh. I prefer to think that the planet needs athletes, philosophers, sex symbols, painters, scientists; it needs the warmhearted, the hardhearted, the coldhearted, and the weakhearted.” – Allen Shawn
I can’t find a better way to say that everyone has their purpose, no matter what you think. I realize this sounds cheesy. That is why I included the quote. Go back and read it again when you are not understanding why people are the way they are. Be intrigued by them because baby, baby, it’s a wild world -with wild people. Take each with a grain of salt and find their silver lining. It’s there. I promise.
After reading your blog..I thought about the steps an iconographer takes when writing an icon. First all the dark paint is laid down and then layer upon layer of lighter paint is put down until the brightest white is placed on the icon. I see the layers of our life like that…hoping that the older we get the lighter the shade.