My mother is incredibly friendly, I remember days growing up when she would come home from the store talking about some stranger's life whom she struck up a conversation with. These memories have been weighing on my conscious lately. how strangers, friends, family, people we've never met; they are all apart of us in some way. We are not singular entities.
What I mean by this is, though you and I and everyone else are contained within a body, though our thoughts are constrained to the confines of our own mind, though our secrets can be kept from even our closest friends and significant others, we are not the product of our own destiny (In more ways than one). The people we surround ourselves today may effect our present perspective, but the people who we surrounded ourselves with in our past fundamentally affect every fiber of our virtues.
“...We Believe ourselves to be members of this family. Not just one branch on one tree, but a forest whose roots make up a dynasty... ...So remember every instance before death, every first kiss, first dance, near miss, last chance, yes, no, maybe so... ...Because all we have are the times between the moments we connect each dot. So live, and remember.” Shane Koyczan
I must deliberately refrain from passively considering the profound effect that every person I’ve met has on me. How every stranger neighbor who was kind enough to let me mow their lawn or wash their car gave me a love of enterprise, how every friend and stranger who dared to bet on my eye for photographs gave me a spark for this career, how my family’s insisting on musical training gave me a high view of arts and their effect on people, how every stranger and friend who has been considerate enough to engage in sound theological discussions has made me sensitive to the not only my faith but the faith of others, how the strangers that shared just a brief moment of connection gave me ubiquitous appreciation for the personhood of every soul that passes by. We are not singular entities, we are patchwork people. We are the collection of every object, animal, person and experience we encounter.
So what of those who refuse to participate. One may be tempted to isolate themselves from the world in hopes of denying the negativity that life offers as well. "Hell is a state of mind - ye never said a truer word. And every state of mind, left to itself, every shutting up of the creature within the dungeon of its own mind - is, in the end, Hell." - CS Lewis
Not only are we patchwork people, but the people around us are so too. Next time you're standing in line at checkout, or sitting in your favorite coffee shop or bar, stuck in traffic, or just people watching from your window, try to imagine the lives of the people around you. Their stories, their childhood. Heck maybe even saying hello. You never know how they might affect you.
Romans 12:5 “For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” ESV
Expect to see this post as a photo series in the near future.
See you next week
If you missed the vlog entry last week, or my twitter feed, then you may have missed that I have changed the schedule a little bit, vlogs and blogs will be posted weekly on Wednesday's from now on.
Speaking of Vlogs!