Thursday, 21 February 2013

When did I stop caring about caring?

The older I get the more I have to say but the less I'm likely to say it.

Why is that?

When I was a young'n I found myself slightly invincible - slight being, I took bold moments knowing the probable outcome.

I was a newly 18 year old quite happy to hold my head high and flaunt my then sporty physique through the crowds of older and drunker party goers without a care in the world. I would order confidently at the bar. I would easily ask for directions. And I was simply content, sitting alone ( plotting my next puma pounce).

Do we have more to lose the older we get?

I remember being in my early teens and hanging out with some friends in the school holidays. I took the dare to extravagantly run down the street through a crowd of people and purposely fall over. A challenge I delighted in. An opportunity to actively and dramatically show my ability to pretend - for I was an aspiring actor at the time. No fear. No embarrassment. Just a moment to make my friends laugh.

Does fear come with experience or does it come with not experiencing?

In the last week I have been exposed to situations where my younger self has cried out in disappointment. Moments where the adult in me or perhaps the more reserved adult has taken no action when perhaps, once upon a time, long ago, I would have. I would have at least said something.

I'm finding the older I get the more I choose to not do. Whether it is an act of kindness, a moment of confidence, something that should be said and a judgement that was too quick to make.

Sometimes I wish I could see myself through the eyes of others. Not my friends, not my family but those who do not know me. That pass me by in a second never to meet my eyes or feet (depending on where they are looking) again. Someone who took a moment of their life to simply place a personality on me without ever knowing me. Who would they say I am?

We so quickly judge those that we do not know. We place stereotypes on their clothings. We avoid them because of their interests. We unfriend them due to their actions. We simply allow a second of our life to decide so much.

I was walking behind a girl and boy today. Presenting in the stereotype of punkrockers. Blue hair and piercings. He in black and skinny jeans. She in a mini skirt and sporting a very petite waistline. And within 10 seconds of being behind them, quite intriqued by their choice of hair colour and style, the lady in blue dropped a cigarette butt so casually and still alight and continued walking on her way.

Dumbfounded. Outraged. Annoyed. Ignorant. Saddened. Angry. Confused.....and yet silent. 

I heard my inner child screaming.....say something....inform her she dropped her cigarette butt by mistake....gesture towards the ground and then perhaps to the nearest bin....spill some facts on the problem of pollution....the dwindling population of sea turtles....just say something.

But I didn't.

My adult self took one look at the equation. 2 against 1. What impact would I have? Would my choice of words or facts cause guilt, paranoia or anger to seep through her? And I was alone, was she physically stronger then me? Was the boy level headed or anger driven? How would they possibly react? A probability I was not certain on.

And then it struck me.

 When did I lose her? When did I place tape over her mouth and quieten her wild ways?

I found myself annoyed the other day when asked by a client to help fill out a form. I didn't have time or the patience to fill out a long list of questions for them. I didn't realise at the time they couldn't read. I didn't realise that my privileged life of education where I learnt reading and writing I have been taking for granted. I didn't realise there is probably a story behind this man.

When did judgement set in?

I hate reading the news. Pages of downfall, destruction, pain, hurt, murder, don't need to see a MA15+ movie or play Call of Duty to get a rush or imagine warfare. You just need to read the pages. Go outside your house and walk a little. It's all there.

But it's not just those terrifying accounts that cause us to become blind sighted, blinkers off and straight forward moving. It is those stories where the acts of kindness have gone wrong. A moment where someone has done the decent thing and it has been thrown back in their face. And it is these stories that have stopped me from helping. Assisting the elderly gentlemen, been frozen with doubt when deciding to help someone in distress or given money to a lost soul. Because I'm too scared of what will come of my decision - directly or indirectly.

I am no longer under the umbrella of my parents, my independence is not shadowed by my ignorance of teen-hood and my actions are that of an adult.

I may not know all that is to be known, factual or cultural, but I believe I understand right and wrong.

So when is it ok to have a voice? To stand firm on a belief and not feel the pressure or fear of being judged and punished for it.

When did I stop caring about caring?  

1 comment:

  1. sweet girl...

    you have not stopped caring, i think your subconscious just knows when to and when not to say something.

    I empathise with you, however i have come to learn that its not that we lose the free spirited and confident person that we are, it is more that we are more conscious of what speaking up does, looks like, and more informed of the world.

    Craig always told me 'what others think of you is none of your business', and i wholeheartedly believe this. no one elses opinion but yours counts... would you carry the weight of someone who does not know the beautiful spirit that you are on your shoulders? wouldnt you rather hold dear those that celebrate your greatness through knowing you than those who plot your demise because they don't know you?

    you care... you will always care.
    fear not, for He is with you, and He accepts you for all you are and all you are going to be.
    After all, He made you in His image, He carries you through each thought and action as if they were His own thoughts and actions.

    He loves you.
    And I do too.