Last week, my humanity was jeopardized!
I as a human being was compromised…
What’s even sadder is; we compromise each other’s existence or being every day. No! Make that every hour, or even worse .. every minute
Recently, I have been under a daily-life heavy missile attack. Along with my family, we’ve managed to dodge some, but they have left us some sizable bumps along the road. It’s during this phase of the game, where the way is no longer as smooth as it was before, when all of your senses are fully alert.
This bumpiness is another challenge that life has thrown across your way. If you accept it (and you will because you have no other choice), you need to be absolutely attentive, and then you might –just might- be able to move up to the next level. And if you are really good, who knows, you might receive a bonus stage in between for the outstanding performance, tolerance, acceptance, and patience.
This state of senses-on-edge makes you very focused on what’s taking place inside and outside, as well as on your responses while both are interacting. It’s very true. I am very sensitive these days to each and every little whim, every mood-swing, and every thought! I can now easily trace my stream of consciousness –something I have over and over again failed to do during calmer times, and I am also monitoring the energies pitched at me, because I really need to observe and keep at a distance anything, which might pose a threat to my hanging-by-a-thread positivity.
Even more, I have noticed how I have become very protective of my aura! Y’know, the aura.. that intangible but concrete space around me; the non-physical range granted to me by my physical body, and across which I project my colors; I spread my rules and my presence. It’s my privacy parameters, which I let some people transverse, while others remain standing at its peripherals.
With this super attentive mode, I went out one day to take my kids for a short round on their bikes.
It’s a small compound where I live. Though, I am fairly new, the rest of the residents are not long-ago ones either, and we have just had a get-to-know-your-neighbor gathering. I was very keen on attending, because when you are away from home; you need to start making friends, one way or another they become a second family.
I got to meet most of the neighbors, so at least the faces are now not utterly strange to me. One can smile and say good morning or stop for a short chit chat on the way to work without feeling awkward.
I walked slowly beside my almost four and three year olds, and not very far away, I saw a neighbor who obviously didn’t attend the last residents’ event, because I couldn’t even identify her face or her style.
As I got closer, another door opened and one of the familiar faces showed up, walking enthusiastically toward us. I was still coming up from a further distance than that of the unidentified neighbor, who was giving me her back, and looking in the same direction as me at the other lady, who -I was now confirmed- knows us both.
Goes without saying, the common acquaintance reached the one I didn’t know first. They stopped, kissed, and talked, while I was getting closer thinking “Great- I will get to meet a new kid on the block!”
But I didn’t!
I was right beside them, wearing a big wide welcoming smile, and that seemed to be the perfect moment for them to turn around and say “Hi” or “Morning”, and the lady I know should’ve made the introduction, only that didn’t happen at all. In fact, our joint friend gave me a quick nod and said in a formal but friendly tone “morning” in response to mine and that was it!
The other didn’t even turn around to acknowledge my presence. She didn’t spare a second to see the face with the friendly tone or to check who her friend is talking to out of curiosity. She refused to acknowledge me. In a way or another, she has denied my existence.
She refused to admit I was there and she declined, rudely, my gift of positive energy. Instantly, negativity was born, and it spread in the air like a vicious cancer. I am not being a drama queen. She did kill my day, totally. I was in a complete foul mood for the rest of the morning. My husband tried to figure out what was wrong with me and I couldn’t identify the reason behind my edginess and aggressiveness. I didn’t want to admit that such an insignificant person can impact me. After all, who is she anyway?! She doesn’t mean anything to me. She is a stranger. Her acknowledgement doesn’t matter.
But it has all hit me with a full blow in the face, when with the corner of my eyes I saw a cleaner make way for me the other day at work.
I was walking in a hurried manner (usually the case at work), I didn’t even notice him, but my ears registered a faint “G ‘morning, ma’am”, muttered shyly under his breath. I stopped suddenly. I walked back to him, smiled and said: “Thank you, g ‘morning to you too.” He smiled widely, nodded, and both of us went our separate ways feeling much better about ourselves.
We were acknowledged. Our individuality was reinforced by noting and honoring each other’s presence.
Only then did I realize why I was offended by my stranger-neighbor who refused to turn around to look at me.
It’s my right as a human being. When you deny someone their right to be, they can do all sort of things to claim that right. Some would take it rather vehemently and bottle it up, in some cases leading to sever depression, while others can resort to violence to attract attention, to tell the world “We are here.”
Non-recognition of one another is, unfortunately, something we do all the time. We ignore cleaners in the street, friends and family too. We do it to colleagues at work, when we decide to overstep them, we do it to our employees when we refuse to acknowledge their efforts or accomplishments, when we refuse to send them a thank you email for their service, or deny them the right to have a proper farewell. We do it when we decide to disappear from a friend’s life without giving an explanation; when we force our children to do something without elaborating why we are asking them to do it. Politicians do it to their subjects when they refuse to hear their voice.
Just look into your daily life and you will realize how you overlook tens of people who require your simple attention every day.
I guess that’s why Love is so vital to us. We are all trying to obtain an express, life-time guarantee of acknowledgement from a specific person for the rest of our lives. I remember this quote from one of my favorite movies “Shall we dance?”:
”There’s a billion people on the planet, what does anyone’s life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things, all of it, all of the time, every day. You’re saying ‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go unwitnessed because I will be your witness’
We are all born to leave our marks, we are all born to be acknowledged for who we are, different scales may be, but we all need it. We need to honor each other’s existence, humanity and individuality.
In the silence of the night, as I type these words now, I could hear the moans and prayers of the world. I could feel the pain… and it all translates into one line, echoing in my brain and breaking out into the cosmos: “Please acknowledge me… Don’t ignore me!”