I’m the guy who believes things few others do. I have been called crazy, but I don’t think I am. Were we to pass eachother on the street, you would not think me different from any other stranger. All of us have a silent voice that narrates our lives – an echo that resounds only in our minds as we live our lives. I am just like you, but perhaps our muted voices are not. We might never have known however had it not been for my apathy for social grace – arbitrary lines of conduct and appropriate conversation which I eagerly bound past on a daily basis. These boundries of shame over the humanity we deny exists in us all are utterly uninteresting. Far more interesting are the truths we conceal – the people we want to be, and truly are, held at bay by the written and unwritten laws of man.
Not here, not today, not if I can help it.
I once wrote extensively on life, as I saw it, through the eyes of a precocious adolescent. I wrote about its many difficulties, its tremendous joys, and everything from the mundane to the extraordinary. I was, and continue to be, fascinated by genuine thought. I relish opinions, even those radically different from my own, provided they stem from original thought. For years I could define nor place this desire, this need. Now that I have it dominates my life, the question ‘why?’ ever at the forefront of my mind. I would ask this deceptively simple question of everyone, and everything, unburdened by judgement or propriety. I would ask it because there are so many people on this earth. Too many by far to know them all. Too many to know in the country you were born, the city you live in, and even the place you work. We barely know each other, going through life guided by the commonly accepted parameters of tolerance and coexistence – the bare minimum of insincere interaction to fascilitate our own ends in life, as sincerity and truth pass us by anonymously.
I live in one of the biggest cities in the world, forever surrounded by million hordes going about their lives entirely outside the scope of my knowledge. All these lives are lived by individuals who, for better or for worse, have a silent voice of their own, a muted passenger in the form if a conscience, a narrator, and at times a friend. A guide that echoes our thoughts, offers advice, and rehearses what we make audible for others to hear. Yet I know so few if them. I know, so it feels, none of them. We share nothing but the city we live in and the scientific name we share: “homo sapien” – thinking man, as we all are, but know little about.
Without asking a question no answer can be given. Ergo, curiocity compells us to ask, to listen, and to learn. We are a vocal creature, a social creature, craving both knowledge and company, and never really knowing why.
I struggle as a human being. I find the anonymity of proximity and abundance to be disconcerting. I feel alone in a city of tens of millions. I am alone, quiet even now, as my mind races and my lips stay sealed. I do not know the people around me, nor do they know me, yet we coexist peacefully. We do not know each other’s opinions, beliefs or passions. We are safely alone in a world we share. We are at peace in our ignorance of our fellow man yet we are surprised by anything out of the ordinary – events which upset the comfortable familiarity of the status quo. It is a dychotemy: our selective curiocity tempered by the smallness of our mortal existence.
I do not prepose that knowing every person on earth should be a goal or a necessity for a fulfilling life, I merely wish to convey the strangeness of man. I’m not crazy; we are all crazy. We have to be crazy. We cannot afford to be who we might want to be. There are too many of us. Too many silent voices, with different opinions, different beliefs and passions, and different priorities. Our mutual apathy is good, it is safe, it is expected. Purposely breaking this boundary then can be disconcerting, uncomfortable, even offensive. It is not meant to be. One might event realize, should you stop to think, that it is quite the opposite; a compliment inherent in one person asking another to lift the veil of anonymity and giving them a chance to be who they truly are, far away from the judgements and labels of our common world. Show me… teach me… who you are when you think no one is looking, and no one can hear – who you would be if you could. Tell me… who are you really? What sets you apart from everyone else? By what right do you exist if you are just another person? We all have something, if not many idiosyncracies that make us who we are and not someone else. I am interested in those things because the rest pales in comparison – trivialized by its insignificance.
An opinion is a personal thing. It is like a resolution based on experience, thought, and feeling. As such – it being your own – an opinion cannot be wrong. Why then do you fear to speak them out loud? Why do we keep secret the very thoughts, feelings and experiences that make us who we are? When is a lie ever better than the truth even when we loathe to utter the words that amputate our individuality?
Be brave, be strong, be different and, most importantly, be who you truly are. Surely being who you are is easier than upholding the pretence of who you are not. Discard the illusion and show yourself; I can’t wait to meet you. I can’t wait to fall in love with who you really are and have been all along. I can’t wait… to find out who you truly are.