I have a confession to make. If the truth be told, there are many of you reading this piece who might be able to make the same confession. What is that confession, you might ask? It’s that I don’t see you. Why would I accuse myself of such, after all, I had a conversation with you just the other day? From the looks of things, I was looking you dead in the eye. We were making contact, socializing to our utmost capability at being the social animals we’re all programmed to be.
When I say, I don’t see you, I mean I’m oriented to acknowledging and dealing with your existence from some stereotype, or some less than completely accurate assessment of what your true being represents. If I just met you, I start our conversation within the confines of some predisposition about you. After all, I’ve seen people who look like you all my life. I’ve seen them on television, I’ve seen pictures of them on the front of the newspaper, my mother and father, as well as others in my social network have told me about folks like you for years. What else do I need to know about folks like you? The truth has already been shared with me by people I know and trust. Their truth deserves the honor of not being questioned or brought into judgment. It’s their experience and resulting wisdom from that experience they’ve passed onto me, so I can have an easier time at dealing with folks like you. It’s, after all, a proven fact that it’s better to learn from the experience of others. That experience lessens the chances of us suffering from the disappointments and pains of life.
My confession has caused great trauma to my psyche. I’ve now come to realize that each individual I encounter, for more than a few seconds, deserves my best effort at “seeing them.” I probably shouldn’t begin our conversations with asking what do you do? That question is an almost subconscious strategy to assess your material value. If you work in a mid-to-high-level corporate job, your value to me has more weight. I want to increase the value of the people within my network of associates and friends. I probably shouldn’t ask you where you went to college, what neighborhood in which you reside, or social clubs in which you have membership. Why shouldn’t I ask those questions, you might wonder? Aren’t those the kinds of questions that solicit the answers which let me know you better. Yes, they are, but why should I ask them within the first thirty minutes of us meeting each other initially. I just met you, and you seem interesting. Shouldn’t I be concerned with knowing the real you?
I want to know the real you. That takes understanding the values, moral convictions and thoughts about life you harbor within. Do these intangibles line up with mine; however, even if they don’t, you deserve to have a fair reading of them by me. My confession has told me that I’ve never wanted to take the time to understand these things about you. It told me that I’ve been shallow; I’ve been quick to judge and move onto the next person I might be able to add to my inventory of worthwhile resources.
I want to see you. I want to be worthy of your time and thankful for the door that God has opened for me to have a view of life from your perspective. I want to see you, whomever you may be.
I’m old and blessed…I hope you will be too.