Wednesday, November 09, 2005

currently, i work in the service industry. i am a quiet observer of human nature. the older i get, the less offense i take to the bad behavior of fellow man. i have mellowed. maybe i have just lowered my standards. i used to not believe in the inherent evil of human beings, but experience has changed my mind. i am assured that everyone of us is completely capable of an unspeakable atrocity- given the right circumstances and neglect of the soul.
of course, i base my judgments on if and how much a person tips, if they look you in the eye and what you find there if they do. it's not difficult for me to believe that a person can be summed up in the small things... the details of their every transaction. in the shadow of consumer much-ness, so many, including myself, buy into the subconscious belief that we are defined by our possessions, and our brand loyalties. but i tend to base my judgments on the smaller things.
in the same way, a body is defined by the finest of details. most of us wield a couple of arms and a couple of legs... the basic equipment list rarely varies. but it is in the completely unique composition of curves and angles. and each curve corresponding, echoing in every part. the ear to the arch of the foot, thighs to cranium.... we are aligned to our own innate selfness.
some are not as whole as the conventional picture would have us believe. but, i encountered a man today whose right arm seemed to have been belonged to a small child. he was over 6' tall... and imposing in bulk. i made a forced effort to avoid looking at the tiny, seemingly lifeless arm. it fascinated me, but that may have been rude. but what struck me more was his smile. i can't be sure that he wasn't suppressing laughter for my obvious efforts to avoid looking at that strange-small armish appendage. but in my mind, his smile remains. in spite of the ignorance he has encountered, the cruelties imposed upon him... his smile is still lively and kind.

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