“Nobody looks like what they really are on the inside. You don’t. I don’t. People are much more complicated than that. It’s true of everybody.”
― Neil Gaiman
How good are you at judging someone's character? If you've read some of my previous blog posts here, I speak of that word "judging" quite often. There's just no way around trying to guess someone's persona prior to meeting or speaking with them. We are creatures of curiosity and some with great imaginations. The more curious we are of someone or someplace, the more our imaginations run wild which can lead to unfortunate misconceptions and unfair preclusions.
But on the other hand, when it comes to seeking beauty and looking for the art in someone or something, it becomes a much kinder endeavor. When you are looking for the good, the best in someone, you have no ulterior motive or agenda. There is nothing you are trying to gain from the other person other than enjoying their essence or special gifts. I truly believe if we looked upon others this way, we would all be that much more relaxed. We wouldn't be wondering what this other person is wanting from us. We wouldn't be frightful when a stranger comes up to us and wants to strike up a conversation.
I've recently made several introductions with strangers in which the only thing I gained was appreciation that these wonderful souls are out there walking the earth with me.
In the same afternoon, I met someone who struck my interest many years before but it was so outside my nature to just introduce myself to someone who I had no real connection to, i.e. job, neighborhood, acquaintances-in-common. The other was by design while I was seeking forgotten treasure around my town; a pre-determined introduction if you will.
To properly describe how the first introduction was made possible, I have to briefly give you a backstory of sorts. Not too long ago, I started toting around my revitalized antique red bench in my vehicle and making stops to take bench selfies to showcase both the bench and the scenery or backdrop.
It so happened that I still had the bench in my vehicle when I passed by an intersection that I happen by often. Every time I do pass this intersection, I look for the friendly face I've grown accustomed to seeing energetically trying to sell pizza to any and all passersby. I didn't see him immediately because he was down on the grassy curb stretching his legs. I made a decision to pull in to the shopping center and introduce myself. Not to look for anything from him but the chance to meet the person that I found so intriguing and the opportunity to take his picture if it suited him.
As I got out of my vehicle, this gentleman had already taken notice. I immediately said hello and asked him how he was doing. His response, "I'm blessed." I proceeded to ask him if he was the same gentleman that has been doing this for the last 3 or 4 years. He was proud to correct me and say "for the last 11 years I've been here." I had to tell him that through the years I always looked forward to seeing his joy every time I went past and really admired his spirit and work ethic. He told me that he loved what does and the company treats him very well. It was at this time that I worked up the nerve to tell him about my traveling red bench and would consider it an honor if I could get a picture of him with the bench. Honestly, I wasn't sure about what he would say but he accepted graciously without further convincing. I learned his name was Priest and he was a lifetime resident of my town just like me. His whole family still lived here just as mine does. I also learned he loves to sketch art and create cartoons. It leads me to believe that we may all have so much more in common with each other than we realize. I feel so fortunate to have finally met this happy and insightful person and know that if or when we run into each other again, it will be as friends.
The second introduction of that afternoon was with a lovely girl-woman named Blanca. I say girl-woman because while it's hard for me to look at a young woman of 20 or 21 years old and say woman when I visually see a young girl, I know she has earned the title of woman far more than girl just by looking in her eyes.
She had some lovely, old Ethan Allen end tables that are in great condition and begging for some imagination and attention.
What was sweet about Blanca was she offered up some history on the tables, somehow knowing that would be something I would be interested in hearing. She told me she picked them up from a friend who said they were her grandmother's. Blanca said she made mention to her friend, "So you're selling your own grandmother's furniture?" She and I got a kick out of that. We both instinctively knew it's all about guilt when you mention selling anything of your grandmother's! I told her I was happy to hear it came from a grandmother's home. She said, " I thought you would like that because you're that furniture lady." A quiet and proud smile graced my face. Next thing I knew a young man came out of their apartment with each table. I say young man, but you know I thought kid. Such a handsome and cute couple they were! I thanked them both and wished them a good evening. As I drove away, I said to myself, "What an amazing day!"
People, places and things can bring us joy, knowledge and togetherness much more than judgement, divisiveness and indifference. Every day is a chance to see someone and something for all they are instead of what they are not. It helps to remember that every single one of us has more to us than meets the eye.
(A picture of my new friend Priest doing what he loves to do)
I thought I would attach the link to the song Shiny Happy People by R.E.M. because you know them when you see them. They are everywhere.
Always stay classy,
Project Vintage US
Thank you for taking the time to read my blogpost and feel free to leave your thoughts and comments. I started writing pieces and posts to prove to myself I could articulate my thoughts in a way that made sense. I realized soon after that it was somewhat therapeutic to express my thoughts about life's mysterious twists and turns as well as all the wonderful lessons we learn on the way.