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Mosaic

Fair warning: This one starts off kind of boring and bad but I think it gets better the further you scroll.

Thankful. Thankful. Thankful. What am I thankful for…? A lot of things obviously, but what am I most thankful for? Let’s see: I really like chicken wings….but that’s too basic. I kind of like chemistry….but that’s too hard. I like music….but that’s too easy. Wait….I got it. I  like people. That’s it. It sounds dumb but hear me out: I’m thankful for people.

By saying that I’m thankful for people, I mean that in a few different contexts.

I’m thankful for my family and friends because I wouldn’t be who I am today without them. I think that sort of cliché is kind of bittersweet. Not all of me is good but not all of me is bad. I’ve had some bad friends that I’m still thankful for (somehow) because they’ve chiseled me into the badass I am. The same goes for some family members. I think it would be kind of naïve to say that all of my family and friends have only done great things for me. People aren’t perfect and our close comrades are no different. We say things we don’t mean but really do. We do things we shouldn’t do to our friends or family and feel little remorse sometimes. But isn’t that kind of something to be thankful for in itself? The fact that we have family and friends that will still love us even after all the s*#t we put them through? Damn. If everybody stopped loving me after I did something stupid to them, I’d have approximately -5000 friends. Do you catch my drift now about the bittersweet thing now? It sucks that people suck sometimes, but we’d all probably be monotonous robots if we were only fake-nice all the time. I’m thankful for not being a robot. I’m thankful for not being perfect. And I’m very thankful for the people who feel the same way and put up with that on a daily basis.

The second context I feel thankful for people in is a bit more convoluted and kind of vague but I’ll try to put my thoughts into words. I’m thankful for the existences of people. Listen: I’m not saying that I’m thankful for the human race existing and so very thankful for the chance to fertilize the whole damn world with my human influence! That’s not it. That’s not me. I feel like I could get easily misinterpreted on this. I think the world could quite possibly be a better place without the human race here to screw everything up. But since we are here, I’m glad that people are so different. This kind of goes back to my first context but I promise I’m getting at something. We learn everything based off of what everybody around us does. Take social psychologist Albert Bandura’s Bobo Doll experiment for example. Basically, he had someone kick this big doll thing in front of a kid and then left the kid alone with the doll to see what the kid would do to the doll. Of course, the kid kicks the doll in the same way. Observational learning. Positive reinforcement. Negative reinforcement…yada yada yada. The point of this showing that we are inclined to do (or not do) what we see others do based on their experiences. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I constantly imagine myself in living different lifestyles. I think maybe it’s because of all the movies and TV shows I’ve watched. But maybe not. I could see myself being a doctor because I’ve observed at the hospital so much and I think that it’s an awesome environment. I could see myself being in the navy because I just really like the navy after years of growing up thinking that’s the job for me. I could also see myself being a hobo/musician in a big city because I think there would be a lot of personal growth (or death) based on all the indie movies I’ve watched on Netflix. But I didn’t develop these schemas of these life choices from nothing! People watching, word of mouth, watching TV, listening to the news, documentaries, etc. My whole concept of life is based on the somewhat tainted understanding that different people have the niche to do different things. This sounds kind of harsh but it has some truth; some people are meant to die prematurely, some people are meant to live sad lives, some people are meant to make millions of dollars a year playing football benchwarming while abusing their partners, and some people are meant to spread greatness! In all of these different situations, there are a few things in common: 1) there is a person who came from the womb without control over what their life would be; 2) there is a calling for that person; 3) that person experiences something different from the person next to them. These dissonant experiences are in essence what I’m thankful for.

I’m glad I can learn what I need to be to create a balance within myself and within the world by watching other people figure it out in their own distinct ways. Whether it’s entirely true or not…I don’t know, but I’d like to believe that the world was never meant to exist in a homogeneous balance. We are a world formed by all of the incongruous aggregations. We are a mosaic—something formed from broken pieces, each serrated by different circumstance; something bonded together so perfectly with the plaster of reciprocity; something ominous yet too beautiful for words; something I’m thankful to be a part of.

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