Wife. Mother. Brother. Child. Neighbor. Boss. Partner. Employee.
Who are you beyond the titles at home and at work?
Who are you in this intertwined world?
While we are in control as givers and takers, we are also receivers. We are on the receiving end of others’ actions, good and bad, whether we like it or not every day, every hour, and every morning we wake up. So, the question is: when there is undue pain being inflicted… when a target becomes a victim… do you act? We all hope that someone would stand up for us to solidify our line of defense. In their own words, they would make a point of saying something along these lines: “This is not going to happen in my presence… not today… not now… not ever.”
I think we would also like to believe that this is the innate responsibility of our intimate circle, but what about everyone else? Our co-workers? Fellow patrons? The other people in our lives who share a similar path, who live in our communities, who frequent the same coffee shops or neighborhood restaurants? They are strangers who do not know all of our layers. I get that. But they are a part of who we are, no? We are a part of our societies makeup… a society that also impacts us, so, everyone matters.
“It’s not my problem” irks me. Walking away irks me. Saying nothing irks me.
There can be fear in action, in using your words, especially when everyone else may lay silent. I get that. But is fear deserving of that much power?
I much rather be driven by positive forces: passion, love dedication, and civic duty. It is something that I work on everyday because I know that none of this comes easy. Life is complicated. We’re busy. We’re stressed out, and many of us are protective of our limited free time so much so that I think we tend to forget that we are just a small piece of a bigger puzzle. We don’t look up and truly see these other people who are being insulted or victimized right in front of us. The issues: large and small, from a crime being committed to simple disrespect or verbal abuse in public or in a workplace.
They may not be your special someone, but they are someone else’s.
Someone is waiting for him or her to arrive home from a long day at work. A hello. A kiss. A warm dinner, shared.
These other people are a part of our lives because they share our space as human beings. It’s that basic, and in my mind, that means we have a responsibility to each other as active bystanders.
We are all the same.
Our hearts beat. Our bodies are warm.
We exist together in peace or in turmoil.
We set the tone.
We decide who we are.