Knowing People

We meet and become acquainted with people. They make us laugh and cry. Some mesh with us on our level while others pretend to try. Some say “hello” some say “goodbye”. People appear and disappear before they die.

Two or more consecutive rainy days enhance my introspective nature. If I’m not careful, I succumb to the temptation of the photo albums on the living room shelf. The collections of snapshots and portraits bring to mind the people–past and present–in my life. I reflect that practically all of the photos mean nothing whatsoever to anyone outside of my family and friends circle. With any luck, a few of the photos might be appealing, in an artistic sense to compilers at stock photo companies. The rest will probably be discarded. That is how they should be.

Do we really, really know the people whose lives intersect with ours? There are the people who are reluctant to open up about themselves and then there are the new acquaintances who over-share the most intimate details of their lives right after introducing themselves. In actuality, we know little or nothing deep about any of them.

One’s authentic behavior and personality cannot be ascertained by just a few replies to our inquiries. Generally speaking, even those who have a mastery of language and composition cannot necessarily be trusted and believed. The same goes for those who have a somewhat rustic grasp of grammar and vocabulary. They may also have a deficit of integrity. On the other hand, perhaps what they say are who they really are. Who can be absolutely sure which might be the case? I might be the fortunate guy who knows an honest politician.

The difficulties regarding knowing people have stymied law enforcement and judges throughout the years. The leaders of our social institutions are inscrutable. We, along with our peers strive to present our best faces to other people. Social media is infamous for enabling this aspect. Meantime, the public looks for faults and weaknesses; which strengthens our resolve to remain intimately anonymous.

After only a few years of living, we learn to silence ourselves for fear of falling prey to those who do not have our best interests at heart. There are many who will deceive or betray us. To be betrayed by those we esteem is the sharpest cut of all. Beware of the frenemy, the superficially friendly rival. The frenemy lurks in broad daylight. They find Schadenfruede in our failures.

Then there is another troubling scenario related to not deeply knowing people. There is the case of acquaintances who, in the end, were our benefactors all along. They were hurt by our faults yet remained trustworthy and loyal despite our own lack of candor. These people’s snapshots and portraits are found in the pages of my most treasured photo albums. Thank goodness for bland, dreary, rainy days.

The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes co-founder and former CEO of YouTube, Stevens Chen. “People who love to give are the people who have something to give. And those who mold the habit of receiving are the people who like to be given. That is why there are people who have nothing to give and there are people who never run out of things to be given.” 

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Contemplation, Friendship, philosophy and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Knowing People

  1. Eva Hnizdo says:

    I like your thoughtful blogs. Thank you

  2. Hey! Just reaching out to let you know that you’ve been nominated for the Golden Bloggerz Award: Congratulations 👏👏.

  3. rkrontheroad says:

    Your last paragraph was a welcome surprise. It got me thinking about those few people who have expressed support and friendship, and reminded me to reach out to them now and then. Thank you.

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