CHAPTER 8
Hidden Souls
It’s not easy dealing with people. I have six children which means I also have to handle four significant others, a son-in-law, and some kid who blows up my pre-teen’s cell phone all day and night. Grandchildren are also beginning to sprout up all over the place – currently there are five – there will be more. Luckily, my mother is still with me, as is my sister who has an extended family of her own. There is my wife, of course, and her family - significantly larger than mine, I might add. And naturally, there are cousins, cousins through marriage, the children of cousins, and cousin spouses. That’s the family, but there are still others to count – friends, people with whom I commiserate every day, and business associates.

There are a lot of individuals that I have to deal with on a regular basis – sometimes it seems, all at the same time.  Each one requires a uniquely personalized attitude from me to help guarantee that good working relationships continue. I’m sure we all have a similar story. Most of us have family, extended family, and friends galore.

But there are also a lot of people we run into each day that we’ll never see again, and we have no choice but to muddle through as they cut us off on the highway, or butt in front of us in line… These days, it feels as though there’s less civility in the world, because so many of these instant associations are based on pure human rudeness, or perhaps stupidity. Which of course, brings politicians to mind. Even though we never talk to most of these reprobates, we still have to contend with the results of their meddling in the core elements of our lives. All in all, there are just a whole lot of different individuals, more than we realize, who each essentially need or take something from us.

Basically, we share the world with an astounding number of different agendas, ambitions, dreams, desires, and misguided objectives. And I just don’t think it will ever be stress-free coping with all this diversity of purpose. We don’t just have to survive the conversations we hold with one another and the quick interactions as we share the same space, we have to get through life, a much bigger concern, in spite of all these various psychologies. Everything that has gone into making a particular person exactly who they are comes immediately into play. If we run into a racist, for instance, in addition to their injudicious attitude, we wind up having to deal with all the things that made them so in the first place. Something inside of us kicks into gear and we recognize that this individual needs to be dealt with in a very specific and distinctive way. We are a walking, talking, psychology experiment, and our ability to handle all of this is nothing short of amazing to me.

Some of us try very hard to get along with one another, and some of us take more of a “screw you” attitude, which of course, becomes something additional to suffer. The ramifications are stupefying to say the least, and the fact that we even come close to making civilization work at all is astounding.

From the minute we get up in the morning until we finally fall asleep at night, we are fundamentally aware that this is how it has to be if we are to make our way successfully in the world. It’s an emotional obstacle course. But what if this very basic, very human tactic for getting through life isn’t necessary? What if it isn’t even true?