A friend posted this graphic on his Facebook page this morning and it got me thinking. Let us pause on that for a moment..
Its message is pretty clear, and if I might say so — it was bang-on!
I began to think of many of my interactions over the last several weeks. Comments made to me pertaining to one friend or another that came across as almost a test to see if I’d divulge some other ‘secret’ I might know. That always makes me laugh – That’s never really been my scene.
Having said that, I have to wonder when people got to being so damned judgy. So many that haven’t got the foggiest idea of what’s going on but fill in the blanks with assumptions and half-baked ideas that couldn’t be further from the truth. I know they tell us that it says far more about the person than it does us — but at the time that’s never an easy pill to swallow. I’ve heard some rather interesting stories about myself over the years. Who I’ve been with and things I’ve done.. and I just have to laugh.
A good friend was fond of saying well, as long as they’re picking on me they’re leaving someone else alone. I always thought that was a good way to look at it. Though I’ve been known to offer to dig out an old quad-cane on occasion as a mechanism to maintain order and peace.
In the grand scheme of things there are several groups of people in each of our circles. They are those who know little to nothing, those that know a little, and those that know a lot — in most circles there are very few that know absolutely everything there is to know. That level of trust is pretty rare — as it should be.
Even with the addition of Facebook and the “TMI” generation, how much do we really know? That too comes in degrees. There are those that post as it is, fully and completely almost down to the minute play by plays and others who only post the sunny side up “stuffs.” More still use it for a platform to rant the rant, and rile everybody up. I have heard it said more and more often lately that the biggest smiles hide the largest tears. We cannot assume that what we’re seeing is all there is to know.. or even that it’s to be accepted as gospel.. that’s just not reality.
I’d been talking with a lady a few weeks back and I’d said something about growing up with a single Dad, and the woman was bowled over and beside herself that she’d known me for so many years and I’d never told her. She thought I was ashamed of not having had my mother as a regular force in my life and was quite offended that I hadn’t shared this significant detail in my life. Honestly, I hadn’t really thought about it. I remember a period in my teens where I’d tell people my mother was dead just to stifle those sorts of questions because it was so much easier to deal with that glance of pity and have them look away (and leave me alone) than deal with all the questions that I had no answers for anyhow.
Some things come up in conversation depending on who you’re chatting with. Who I lived with when I was growing up 30 odd years ago just wasn’t one of them with this particular person.
Truth be told, who I lived with (or didn’t live with) from the ages of 10 – 16 hardly seems to be relavent to me now as a wife, mom (stepmom) and best of all Grandma. I certainly don’t dwell on it.
Some things are bigger than others. Up until recently I only wore long pants that covered my leg wraps, and later my leg brace. I had someone see me out walking with my cane that questioned why I needed it. They were flabbergasted when I told them, and especially when I detailed just how I ended up this way. The life of the guinea pig conversations only really come out in detail in certain circles and even then it comes in varying degrees too. All in all, at this point I consider myself pretty lucky to be here and I try not to dwell in that “other stuff.” The bad days come and go, and they serve to make those good days feel more awesome. You learn to roll with it, but nobody is obligated to give anyone a play by play – this isn’t a show and nobody is selling tickets.
Just a couple of examples but there are many.
Life’s like that though isn’t it? You can have 10 friends in a room and I would be that every one of them could name one thing about you and there would be someone in that group that wouldn’t have known.
Most of us think we know our closest friends and colleagues, but in many cases we’ve barely scratched the surface. Just a little food for thought.. chew on it 🙂