There is this phenomenon that I have noticed lately among the humans. I’ve decided to call it ‘Being suddenly human ‘
I’ve noticed it while people watching. And it had happened to me twice in as many days. It is quite interesting.
I was in line at the market. And the checker was sludging along dragging the items mindlessly across the scanner.
The guy in front of me was one of those beef-neck body builders. Decked out in his obligatory wife-beater and shorts to show off his hours of work in the gym.
When he awakened the cashier with his suddenly human appearance! The cashier perked up and said ” hello sir! How are you today. The cashier was also athletic. Not all muscular bodybuilding athletic but college boy on summer break from the lacrosse team kind of athletic.
But they exchanged knowing common greetings. And manly grunts. And felt connected.
After he collected his bags and grunted his manly goodbye’s. The cashier fell back into his mindless stick of sludging crap across the scanner. Not bothering to look up or at me. When he finished I handed him my card. And he finally gave the ole’ obligatory, ‘ I hate my job, just kill me now, hello’
Which I met with a cheery “hi! How are you?”
‘Suddenly human’ I became! There in from of this man stood a human! Who deserved an answer to her query? How was he? He was fine as it turned out! And having a long day! What’d ya’ know?
The next appearance of human came at the farmers market. I’ve been going to this farmers market in Ohio since five years ago. Here there is the guy you go to to redeem food stamp coins. Every time I’ve gone. He is sitting on his tail gate waiting for a sun stroke to take him from his monotony. I always try to say something to wake him up! ” Hey there, I hear your the guy with the tokens!” Or “hey how’s it going, hot today, huh!?” Or ” hey! Where can a girl get some tokens around here!?” None of my corny spiel shakes him from his complacency.
This day I approach, smile. Give him some corny line. He gets up silently as always and ask how much I want, 10$ I say, he takes my card. And looks at it and it is from Kansas City.
Suddenly he looks up and says “Misery!” My daughter is in Misery! What’d ya’ know! we have something in common. I’m human!
Fifteen minutes later I know all about his daughter… wether I want to or not.
All about her work why she is there. How long she’s been there. The small town She lives in. She is vegetarian, by the way, and boy does it take a long time to get to the market from where she is living and working. A great cook who has very patient friends to cart around and feast off her makeshift vegi dishes. Apparently there is no place to get good Morning Star meat substitute. But she loves it there and will be so happy to get back in the fall.
Humans. Gotta love ’em. Pack animals. Who spend their short time on this little planet. Putting up borders. Labels. And drawing uncrossable lines in the sand. To keep themselves and each other apart.
The Sutras say, it’s only by dependence on others that we will be able to attain enlightenment.
We need each other. We need to be mindful of each other. We need to be with each other.
It is amazingly glorious up on the mountain top. But if we don’t come down into the village and put it all into cognitive practice. It is bound to be meaningless.
” When with others watch, your speech. When alone, watch your mind.”