I'm often asked how I have happened upon the friendship network I enjoy. The question sounds innocent enough when read, but how it sometimes should be translated is, "I can't stand some of the people you know, how do you enjoy them so much?"
I was toying with that when it hit me. I don't see what others see.
Now mind you ... if I were to walk into a bar (sounds like a set up for a joke but it's not) I could be just as superficial as the next person. I can objectify a man or woman in minutes.
"Nice chest." "Nice ass." "I'd do him."
See? Crude-avoidance is not what I'm talking about here.
While I can see physical attributes and hone in on the ones I like, I have also trained myself not to see both physical and pyschological characteristics that might be glaringly obvious to others.
Just as I once had to be told that my best friend had shaved his beard (a week later and after years of knowing him with it), I would have to pause for a minute to conjure up a list of any reason why I wouldn't want to hang out with someone.
Because I think I see the essence of people . . . and their potential.
I liken it to women I know (and for some reason it's only women) who see auras eminating from individuals.
I don't see colors, but I think I do see hearts. I see what people want to be, and I'll do everything within my power to help them realize it. I recognize the efforts. Trying matters to me. Even when I am on opposite sides of an argument, if the person truly believes, I applaud their passion.
I learned this from loving my brother (not the twin, but the one who died). We were on the extreme opposites of a theological spectrum. I had friends who could slice and dice and then deep fry others of his particular slant. But I couldn't. Because I saw that while I totally disagreed with almost every belief he held dear, I held dear his belief. He was in and in deep. I had no desire to take it away from him.
Sometimes I entertain the idea of change and, as I said, I am more than willing to walk alongside the transitioning on the path toward realizing their potential, but it's not what drives me.
I don't think that lots of people look at people in this light.
But it's a bright shiny place and I find it warm and inviting.