Casting Shadows

Tile with text about the rights of others.

This past weekend I shared this text on a tile on one of my Facebook accounts:

Tile with text about the rights of others.


Not erotic

I was going to write some erotica for this week’s Wicked Wednesday, but I’m afraid you will have to do it without something erotic and listen to my ramblings. Ever since I saw the above text, it’s been going round and round in my mind. Especially the last two lines. Don’t we all have a right to choose how we live our lives and as long as we don’t hurt anyone else with what we have chosen, it’s okay? Why are their people that think that they can voice their opinions regardless of the feelings of others?

It’s like theirs a shift in the way people interact with each other. Where in the past some opinions would never have been voiced, they now are, even if they really hurt the one in question. It’s like people feel they have the right to hurt others, because they have the right to have an opinion. What has happened to compassion? To empathy? How many people criticize others – voice their opinion – without knowing the full picture? Without even making an effort to learn the facts. Why do people not understand that with an opinion, they can seriously damage others.

Yes, we all have a right to have an opinion, but it’s a choice whether you voice it or not. And, when you voice it, make sure you’re not taking away the right of someone else. The right to live their lives the way they want.

We all come across a lot of people in our lifetimes. Some of those play a significant part in our lives, but others are forgotten very quickly, because it might just be a face in a crowd you have seen while you were shopping or traveling. Maybe you saw the face of the old woman and noticed the lines around her mouth. Or you’ve seen the young man and noticed the shadow of a mustache. Or the old man with the hat. Or the young girl with the polkadot dress. The young couple hugging and kissing in the park. The kid on his skateboard. The cashier at the supermarket. The woman at the counter when you bought your train ticket. All people who were part of your day, but when you lie in bed at night, you cannot even recall their faces, or you might not recall them at all, despite noticing them at the moment. They have cast no shadow in your life – neither positive nor negative.

But, maybe you’ve cast a shadow in theirs. When the old woman smiled at you, did you smile back or did you just turn your head away? What if she really needed the smile? Needed to feel connected to another human being for just a split second? Did you thank the cashier at the supermarket? Or wished her a good day? Did you greet the old man with the hat when he looked at you as he passed by? Stop and think. Did you cast a friendly shadow in someone’s life? Isn’t the idea of having helped to make someone’s day better a much nicer idea of having helped to make someone’s day more miserable. It costs nothing to say good morning, or to say ‘have a good day’ when you have just paid at a cashier. It really costs nothing to be nice, and in the end it makes you feel good too.

I try to be nice, always. ‘Please’ and ‘thank you’, as well as ‘good morning’ or ‘good afternoon’ are words I use a lot. If I walk to the shops and someone comes walking towards me, I greet them. When I ask for something I say ‘please’ or ‘thank you’ when I’m handed something. I try (no one is perfect) to not have an opinion of someone without knowing the full picture. If my opinion of someone was wrong, I admit it. I try to be kind to everyone.

This has a bad side too: I have been disappointed by many people. I always believe in the good of others, and some people have proven that they are not as good as I thought they were. Does this mean that I don’t believe in the good of the next person? No.

Trying to cast a good shadow in someone’s life doesn’t mean that I am friends with everyone. That’s not possible. You cannot have a click with everyone, but you can be friendly and propler to everyone. That cost you nothing.

Where does all of this come from?

I’ve been hurt really bad recently by people who have a totally wrong image of me. It has hurt me more than I show on the surface. I am an easy talker, but there are some things that I lock deep inside me, somewhere in a dark corner of my mind. Those are things I don’t want to (can’t) talk about but I think about it every day. Every day I take a tiny piece of the hurt and try to work on it, try to make it better for myself. If that specific piece hurts too much, I put it back and leave it until another moment, when I feel stronger. Sometimes this is a process of years… I’m hurting, and I hate that I am. I wish I wasn’t, the opinions about me that have been voiced, are so wrong that I don’t even know where to begin to change them. And if I even want to…

© Rebel’s Notes

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