When I get a business card, I would like to be known as a citizen social scientist. It is only fair since I tend to spend a lot of my day empirically observing people and trying to understand them.(Also, learning the word empirically)
Hear this, I do not claim to understand people; but I love to watch them as they go about their day. I guess this is what comes out of being terribly self-conscious as I was,all through my childhood and teen age, I used to feel awkward and bumbling and I started slyly watching others including my bigger sister and my best friends at the time, Alyssa and Gloria so that I could pick up on their social cues since they seemed to have mastered them.
As a 21st century millennial, one’s driving force is to be different. This is the age of open-mindedness and the celebration of diversity and revolution against norms as well as established but archaic rules. In our striving for difference however, we end up the same, part of the frothing mainstream that we so fight against. We walk away from the madding crowd and we find that we are.
Ironically,it is actually against the norm to be adherent to the norm. Conservatives who stick to the old-fashioned way of thinking and doing every day find that they are no longer the majority and that the progressive and liberal “agenda” that they so fight against is so wide-spread. An example is the overwhelming popular vote that Hillary Clinton got in America, which even though it did not win her the presidency showed her that the number of anti racist progressive thinkers is not as little as it once was.
I digress, but in this line of thinking, I have observed that some of our characteristics are widely shared and to our collective nightmares we actually have much in common with each other.
Here’s what I think:
Some people are driven. Possessed with need that is apparent to all who are observant. A need for something, money, love, attention, revenge, even simple things like acceptance.
I am sure in your circle of people you have met ,there is at least one always talking about the new deal (I just met with J and there’s a man who will give me his phone and 700 mil) They are always talking about money. Whether it’s about those who possess it, or how they will possess it or when, it’s all about cheddar to them.
Then there are those preoccupied by the romantic undertones that exist in life. lovers of life, artists, musicians,photographers,writers,telemundo watchers,They see love, they love love, they want to be in love.I’m sure you get my drift.
Others are purely into humanity, keen observers of current affairs with an eye that smokes out interesting incidences, living off the thrill of human relationships, always in contact, never alone. Some are driven by the roman god, Mars himself, seeking for spontaneous combustion,a fight, a thrill, competition, drugs, endorphin, They like to bungee jump off the edge of humanity, allowing their bodies to be saturated by the heady feeling of immortality.
Other people are drivers. The centers of people’s universes. Enigmatic attractors, negative or positive. They are talked about, nothing is more interesting than their lives. They are always drawn and quartered, judged to an inch of their lives. They are obsessed over and worried about and loved and hated. They are the subjects of songs, novels, their influence, whether negative or positive is the final push that is needed for a cataclysmic deed to occur. That one ex who left lasting scars, that one mentor whose words got to you and you cleaned up your act, that one celebrity who has divided a nation, that one person whose act led you on your path. That one girl who you do not get why she is popular because you are the same people, with similar backstories and ‘she isn’t even that beautiful’. People who get things without even trying, the I get it all from the black board kind. The ones who always win, no matter what.
Some people are the passengers. The unsung heroes. The man whose grave is known as the unknown. The people with instantly forgettable faces who serve as settings to your life story. The ones with the jobs we would not like to do. The math teacher whose face is forgotten whose pat on the back could also be one of the reasons you are now an engineer, the girl in the super market who was the only one to tell you how lovely your shoes are. That friend who consoles you in your hard times, who never falters, who is forever faithful to you, sending Happy birthday messages to your Facebook wall 6 years later, the first five likes on your IG people,The people who you are afraid to admit to yourself that despite them loving you,they are actually boring. That maid who tied your shoelaces when you were four, straining to get them as you leaned on her back breathing in her four am tea and chappatis smoke inundated clothes, the classmates you forget as soon as you walk out of class despite the fact that when you have dodged class they are the quickest to defend your absence, who are also the back ground laughter to the clever quips you shout back at the lecturer, the relatives one does not even bother getting to know, who always bring fresh produce from the village. The people who die fast, as soon as one is getting to know them and all they leave is a slightly wistful tang because you really do not know them.
And some are not even in the vehicle. Really poor people who you’d take a pic of to bemoan capitalism but would never deign to touch. “Beggars are actually thieves, so walk wide and don’t give him a cent” “close your window, this is street kid territory” the mad man you give a wide berth, the social outcasts, who call themselves rebels but really want to belong. The truly different, the people in unfortunate memes whose physical disabilities are only a punchline to an unfortunately really funny joke, the old, the weak, the sexually different, the very rich and the very poor. The ones who have embraced their sins, Thieves, murderers,prostitutes, politicians. Those who dedicate their lives to giving, are supported but not envied:” eh, so you left your job to fully dedicate yourself to a charity, God bless you bambi, I am not that brave.”
Where do you lie? How do you learn to leave your assigned position and experiment? Can you drive? do you wanna get off sometimes? Are you the Rosa Parks, refusing to accept your label, willing to die for the independence to be who you are?
It’s your choice.