Tuesday, October 14, 2008
The Adolescent Observer
How well do you think you know your family or friends?
This is not the kind of 'know' when you add your latest acquaintance on Facebook, but more of an intimate knowing. This knowing is different from noticing habits or hearing about the daily lives of others.
After re-watching a few episodes of Six Feet Under (arguably for me one of the best written and acted Teledramas of modern age), I realized how little I know my family. I could not even answer if I knew how my father's mother died when he was 10. I never truly listen to my dad's stories because they are repetitive and have nothing to do with his life before my parents got married (which ended in divorce years later, thankfully). I know little about him and don't want to regret not having gotten to.
I always say that I love my parents but do not like them as people. This, of course, may be true with your family-but mine are totally wrapped up in their own little worlds. While I won't get into anything too personal because this is not my blog to rant and rave about life, what I will say was that I think I might be wrong to some extent. And you might be too.
The truth is, I have met many people, stayed in contact with many people, hang out, drink beer, smoke, laugh, and sometimes let them know my business-but I don't 'know' many people very well. You think you know your family, especially your parents because you live with them , you see them, they tell you the same stories over and over-but do you truly know them as people-before you were born? We are observers and until we grow up, realize this, and make it worth our time and effort to pursue knowledge about those we don't know in a true and tangible way, I believe we are stuck in adolescence.
Which brings me to this post's mission:
Find someone in your life that you thought you knew.
Get to know them as people.
What does this entail?
Ask their history, their feelings, hear their childhood stories and let it be clear you are interested. It doesn't have to be your parents or even family. For the one who thought you knew and judged harshly because of it may not be there one day for you to ask.