Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Stories of Us All

Under every facial expression, every gesture, every step that we take, we all have a story. Sometimes, it's easy to forget that and to not realize that people walking down the street are actually human. The people who do horrible things are human, too.

I'm not going to comment on the Newtown shooting because I feel like what's already been said has been said. It has gotten me thinking, though, about the stories about us all. I was listening to the one father talk about his daughter (Emilie Parker, one of the young victims) and other people talk about the victims and the reporters talk about the shooters. All of these people had stories, all of these people's lives intersected on that fateful way on that terrible, tragic way. I was thinking of this before then but this made me decide to finally write my thoughts here.

Each of our stories belongs to us and usually us alone. It is a story that no one usually ever knows unless we tell them and even then, they don't know the whole thing. Even if we do tell our stories, we can never exactly make people understand them in the same way that we do because it is impossible to convey each and every sensation that you have felt, to make them experience it for themselves. Our life is one big tapestry that is constantly being sewed until the day we die and, even then, our stories often continue to be sewn as others speak of us. No one knows; they only make a picture of us based off of what they see of us.

And that's funny. Everyone knows how complicated they are, how contradictory, how multi-faceted. Yet somehow, we forget that others are the same way. We think we can know someone and their story based off of one fact, one gesture, or one detail about them. They usually don't remember until it's much too late, until their actions have had an effect on the story of that other person or other people far more than they could have ever guessed.

We may not know everyone's full story but we certainly see parts of them unfold, even if that means only walking down the street and passing them by. We are a part of that tapestry in ways both minor and major, positive and negative. For all we know, we could be a part of this of someone who will later become famous or important in some way. 

In a way, we can help people. We can be a part of people's stories in a positive way. We can help them when we see that their story is headed for the worst. So many bad things in this world happen because people don't want to play a part in helping another person because apathy and inaction are so much easier than anything else. That is the breeding ground for evil. And I, personally, want to help people and have a positive impact as I can. I am a human being and I make mistakes; I have a history that influences the way I act and the ways that I influence other people. 

It's so interesting to think about. Perhaps I think about this because I'm a writer, because I write characters that are beautifully flawed and have stories. I feel like I'm better for it.

It's appalling to think that so many little lives were cut short before they could even begin. That so many little lives are cut short every day, little lives that don't even get news stories. Their tapestry might continue to be woven but, sadly, they will be forgotten too just like all major news stories are. There is so much suffering in this world and it is probably because we forget this fact.

You don't know me; I don't know you. I can't help but think that maybe if the killer sat down and thought about this simple fact, he might not have done what he did. But, of course, there are so many people in this world who wouldn't care, even if shown this fact. 

And our stories continue to be added to and the world continues to spin. 

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