Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Eye See You

Every morning on the way to work, gazing out my window, I see the ‘religious nuts’ standing on the corners of Commercial street, Awake in hand, hoping to have a chance to sell their goods to the lost ones frolicking the streets in sin.

There have been times when our eyes have met and managing a half smile, I quickly avert my eyes. It is awkward every time, and I dread those moments, thanking the heavens I’m not on foot because I just don’t think another conversation on whether or not the earth is going to erupt in a flaming ball of Armageddon in the year 2020, would be beneficial to either of us, especially so early in the morning….

I do admit to having a certain admiration and appreciation for their dedication, for this is what their church tells them to do their calling. They obviously believe in it, and are literally standing for it, in the pouring rain, while people drive by, fascinated by every thing but them… What are they thinking as they stand there? Do they feel awkward? What is it they feel?

Anyways, the whole point is that I had a chance to put the shoes on my feet for an hour or so yesterday... Long enough to shift the ol’ perspective a bit.

Some of the things I noticed while standing on the street, showing people how to get to the conference centre were, oddly enough, not quite so different than what I myself portray every morning on the way to work. The averted eyes, the sudden interest in all things street – stop don’t walk, buildings, trees and oh my god, look at that – a light post! I did get eyed up and down by a couple of snots and had an awkward moment with some of the locals… hey baby. Wink wink… Um… yeah!

But sadly, the majority of people walking down that street did everything in their power to avoid me and whatever I was selling, and I was merely giving directions!

It wasn’t a great feeling standing there by myself, grasping my brochures and trying hard not to stare people down. I felt alone and ignored and shunned and it sucked. Then I got thinking about people who stand on the street for other reasons…I thought about what it would be like to not be so blessed with a job and a roof over my head, food on my plate, and what some of them must feel when they are standing there on the street, alone, ignored, shunned and thinking everything just sucks.

This isn’t one of those pity parties for the poor or whomever. I’ve just been stuck in my bubble again, looking out one-sided. But apparently, I needed my bubble popped. And popped it was. It was a reminder to be more accepting, less judgmental and be more aware of the different shoes people may be wearing. I still have qualms about being force-fed my religion, or giving money to someone who is clearly headed over to the liquor store only to destroy her life even more... but sometimes I do jump to conclusions and can be ignorant to what’s really going on. And maybe I should have these little reminders for this exact reason…because we are just people tryin’ to live our lives, whatever our lives may be.

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