Here in this small village a lot of fighting is going on. About 40 people live here in winter and about 80 in summer, but still there are a few that drop out and upset the others. Mostly because they behave in a way that is not suitable or desirable. The people here like you when you are nice and correct and helpful. Living so close to one another there is not much to hide. You know everything about everybody. We know who are the drunks, who have happy marriages and unhappy, who have money and who don’t, who treat there animals/children/family right and who don’t. Who are honest and who are not. These stories stay alive for years because people keep telling the same stories over and over. So if our neighbor hit the woman from the postoffice 10 years ago, for whatever blurry reason, it will still be discussed at every single event to make each other remember: she is crazy and dangerous. Or the man who walks around in military clothes proud of his time in the army, is whispered of that he did just one year and was kicked out: he’s crazy and a lier.
Being outsiders they love to tell us all the stories again and we find out that almost everyone here is crazy.With all these lives on display it is clear to see we all are a bit crazy. All of us have pains and trauma’s and are looking for ways to release our pain and sadness. Whether it is by hitting someone in a fury, walking around in a memory, opening a bottle of whiskey at noon or trying to help everyone to feel worthy. It is just another attempt to feel better.
I’ve just read this essay from Cheryl Strayed (I think it just proves how much I live under a rock that I had never heard of this bestselling author!) which I found on this great blog. She writes about how she sees her mother die drugged by morphine and how she later tries to find release form her grief by using heroine. So well written you recognize the junkie, but you understand her too. In your greatest pain, wouldn’t you try anything to get a break from it? To feel better just for a little while?
So here’s my new years resolution: I want to choose to see people for what they are. Not now and then, but all of the time. Also the people I don’t like, who are angry with me, who hate me, who hurt me. We are all beautiful, incredible, complex human beings who make stories for ourselves to cover up who we are and why we suffer. It is so easy to judge on the ‘covering up’ part and say people are crazy or stupid or dangerous, and it just takes a little more effort to look underneath all the fuzz we make and realize that we are all unique and worthwhile. Even if our attempts are not. Cheryl Strayed was a cheater and a junkie, and after that journey she became a worldwide loved writer who gives useful advice to people who need it. Do not judge people on how they behave, it may have nothing to do with who they are, but just with how they feel.