I don’t claim to speak for the majority because my reality is warped in a way that people of my tribe look at me with constant bewilderment. Each opinion I offer is a treasonous jab toward the expectations of others who look and sound like me.
I love fried chicken minus the skin but fully understand the horror vegetarians experience when considering the implications of the meat industry. I like knowing I won’t have to jump a wall to enjoy a great life but I fully feel the agony of wanting a better life in a country next door while being squashed by the bureaucracy of governments drawing imaginary lines on our globe. I know that I was born to be biologically attracted to the opposite sex but understand that the same biology which conveys so much majesty and pleasure in the world is responsible for assigning these attractions. I speak another language yet feel the fear of being unable to express the nuances of life and the necessities of a mundane world with words that are both functional and poetic. Because I’m white and a male, I can casually blend in with my own dysfunctional beliefs about god, spirituality and morals without the assumption that I harbor terrorist threats in my heart. Because I’m dedicated to learning and changing my opinion based on new evidence, I shake my head at those who deny science, even if it sometimes errs.
I stand in my own world, surrounded by the people of my tribe and to any casual observer, I align perfectly. But inside the universe of my own personal mind, clouded in the essential invisible ways that make me truly an individual, I am often solitary, looking around in my own astonishment at those who fail to see the blanket of privilege with which they warm themselves.
In another possible version of me, I would have a different skin, a different religion, and much different opportunities. I would knock on doors and fail to understand why I went unheeded. An outstretched hand is one needing humanity’s answer. So often, though, we engage our ideas and bettered position to justify all manner of disregard towards those who are only pursuing a full life.
Our cups run over and yet we look into our neighbor’s cup, wondering why they might hold one of unequal measure. The question is not one of merit, as fickle circumstance can strip any of us of our certainty and blanket, regardless of who we are.
We shut our curtains to the image of our own undoing.
As always, “we” are the “other,” even as our mirrors continue to participate in our delusion.