March 06, 2011

What Are You Made Of

I was flipping through TV the other evening, hoping to find the History Channel, when some show came on about people changing homes and lives with someone else for a time. I didn't watch, but for just a moment I thought about what it would be like if, for a brief moment of days, we were judged by what we had within us, not outside of us.

We too often judge by the obvious, the loud, the flashy only to discover the latest pop star only lip syncs. We rely on the media, on gossip, not realizing that most of that is as false as the motive that drives it. Myself, if you saw me in line at the grocery, you would see a pretty, freckled midwest woman. No fancy painted nails (hard work makes that a little difficult to keep up), no designer clothes and no fuss. My bag is from Midway or Sears, not Gucci. I'm someone's Mom. Someone's older sister. You might notice the hair or the eyes, or the curve of the hip, but the average young person would dismiss me as ordinary. You would not see that inner strength which could handle a load that would have sent most women and many men, packing. You would not see past the outer human form, one who has learned daily how fragile life can be; how tough, in violence, in loss, we are capable of being. Not the bones and the flesh, for they are transient, but the heart that drives those bones and that flesh into life. Fragile bones of unbreakable will.Look again. If lives were traded for a day, that quiet and unassuming man in the worn, faded but clean overalls at the feed store might be able to command an army, there in that moment being recognized as the complex, efficient steward of that which is important. While the lady or gentlemen on CNN, in their carefully cut hair, $1500 suit, and entourage of hype, would collapse in a bundle of dried sticks, unable to function without that support network of elective self entitlement.

What would it be like if, for all of us, there for a day or a span of days, you were not your bank balance, constituency, spouse, color or neighborhood? You were just you, without that haughty ancestral pride based, not on any core part of yourself, but simply the divine right of birthplace or parentage. A moment in time where you were judged solely on what you've read, what you've learned the hard way, what you are. Where you were valued by your innate abilities to survive and prosper through that day without birthright; handling yourself and your actions without help, teleprompters or a gold card, but simply by the human vanity of your own strengths.

How would we be perceived? And more importantly, who would we elect to serve and to lead?

Posted by Brigid at March 6, 2011 08:32 AM

thats the most terrible thing as new generations are raised only on the diva images that's only outside and never think of how empty those divas are!

Posted by: ricardo at March 6, 2011 10:18 AM

Wait! Are you saying I should be more than the car I drive?


Posted by: Tim at March 6, 2011 11:01 AM