It’s human nature to place ourselves in the “star role” of our life screenplay. In a sense it’s true, but only for us. As life goes on we come to realise others may see life very differently and we may play only a minor role in their production, or be merely one of those passing “pieces of furniture” used in TV adds as “background crowd”.
Humbling as that may seem it actually gives a great freedom when you realise you are not being, assessed, critiqued, or appraised most of the time. Even if the new bright scarlet Christmas scarf/ reindeer outfit/ cracked karaoke performance etc. get you some fleeting attention the vast majority will have forgotten it by next day or sooner.
Understanding this enables to be more FREE!!!
When I was very young I worried a lot about “friends”- being in with the cool crowd (not that I ever was lol!) I lived life with one eye on the mirror.
You see honesty isn’t only about telling the truth (though that’s important if you want to be trusted) but also about being honest about who you are.
My inner me finally revolted in my mid teens and I decided to just be me (I was pretty lousy at being anyone else anyway lol!). It worked amazingly well. I was suddenly catapulted from the bottom to the top of the coolness social strata even surpassing those unfeeling souls I’d tried to emulate. I found myself, the artist, outspoken iconoclast, rebel, dreamer, seeker, to be actually cresting the wave of late 60’s hippiedom.
Of course that didn’t last. I wouldn’t want to be associated with much that is thought cool today, but I learnt a valuable lesson – to be honest (even with myself). My long term friends are mostly the same. I trust their integrity. We talk straight and deep. I hate to play games, especially with people’s hearts or emotions.
Though I’ve learnt wisdom over the years and don’t generally blast folks with my more radical views or tales of my more colourful adventures, I still avoid empty conversations and can spot flattery or manipulation a mile off (and quietly cross its perpetrators off my list of acquaintances).
So if you happen to feel yourself boxed into pretending to be someone on the outside you are not on the inside, try it! Honesty really is the best policy!
Two big puppy dog eyes, too innocent for a nine year old, shine out above an over sized smile, topping arms and legs like a gangling colt. He seems all eyes and smile balanced precariously on winnowy stilts, never still for a moment. He’s growing up now, character forming, his questions get deeper as he gets longer.
I asked him why he pays such exaggerated compliments to the middle aged crossing lady, saying she looks more beautiful every day etc. He pondered seriously for a moment then said he likes to make people happy, it made him feel good.
The lolly-pop lady is not the only one, every day he leaves a trail of smiles behind as we wend our way to school and back, every dog must be complimented, every baby admired, every child waved to. He sees the whole world as friends or potential friends. He sees things as they should be not as they are. Like a tiny Don Quixote he somehow seems to ignore school bullies and bossy teachers. The existence of evil phrases him only till his lively mind skips to another subject.
He’s growing up I remind myself, the open smile will one day be tempered, the worlds weighed against peer pressure as his body fills out into man hood. What will he be like I wonder? He will loose his childish innocence, but will something be retained? I think of my own son, now grown. Yes, it is possible, in the boy lie the seed of a man, if carefully tended they can grow strong while keeping a tender heart.