I'm the kind of girl that gets the caramel from her candy apple, up her nose. I once washed the base of my coffee pot while it was still plugged in, and but for the grace of whatever God there is, I didn't accidentally hit the on "on" button and electrocute myself right into whatever afterlife there is. I'm in love with the wrong man, and I have been since I was old enough to realize I like men. I don't know if God even exists, and I don't even know if I should believe he does. I'm a hot mess and I'm completely okay with being that. And perhaps I'm egostistical and prideful, but I know I'm smart. And I know I'm pretty. And I know there are a lot of people who care about me. And for all intents and purposes I should be the most superficial, happy, oblivious piece of fluff that ever was. My parents and my family worked hard, to ensure I had that privilege. Yet, I can't seem to take advantage of it. Not that I don't want to, because the good Lord knows I do. I just can't. And who the hell am I to even be writing this right now. What the hell do I know? Who on Earth would listen to me? I don't know. I have a list of faults that would take hours to recite. But, what I do know, is that I handed a cigarette and a hand full of change to a man named Charlie tonight, outside of a bar in DC. And Charlie was drunk. And he was crying. And I asked him his name. And I've never felt so good about myself. Not for giving him my change or anything else, but for remembering that he had a name.
And it started me to thinking. Why do the people in my country hate each other so much? Why do I get on Newsvine almost everyday and read this, vitriolic, disgusting hatred directed at one citizen from another citizen? Why do we as a nation, hold ourselves and our ideals up on this pedestal and then spit in the face of the least among us? Why did I come back to my apartment and read comments calling undocumented workers, "illegals"? As if a human being could be illegal. Why did I read about gay people being perversions and abominations? Why did I read that Charlie and those like him, are lazy, and are leeches, and are sucking off the government tit? As if anyone would chose to put their self in that position. To be beholden to people who see them as an enemy. Denied rights. Denied opportunity. As if it were anything more then a twist of fate, that allowed me the privilege of being fluff and made Charlie, Charlie. Why are we all so desperate to find that "other"? The "them", that makes us feel better about "us". Liberals see the "other" as Conservatives. Republicans, have the Democrats as "them". Rich vs. poor. Black vs. white. Gay vs. straight. Citizen vs. undocumented. The list goes on, and we are ALL guilty.
And I don't mean to imply that we shouldn't have passionate discussions about what each of us thinks is right and wrong. Or that we should be too intimidated to take a stand against those we disagree with. Because we should. That's how progress comes about. Through listening to others. What I don't understand, is why we can't do that without creating that "them"?
There is no "them". There's only us. With different viewpoints, and different lives, and different upbringings. I don't know if anyone will ever read this. And I certainly don't know if anyone will pay attention to it if they do. @!$%#, I don't even know why I wrote it. Maybe I'm just tired and naive. We'll never "all get along". I know that. I mean only four out of five dentists can agree on what toothpaste we should use, and here I am hoping that we all agree to treat each other better. And although I am just as guilty, tonight, I don't see the need for the "other". I don't see the need for the "them". Tonight I believe the "us" can exist without that. Because there are thousands of Charlies out there, who simply want someone to ask them their name.
So Charlie, this is for you. I gave you a cigarette and some change, and you gave me a fresh start. Thank you, Charlie.
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous;
love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly;
it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,
does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails...But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7,13