The Real Deal


I feel I’ve always been pretty good at telling what’s the real deal. Of course this can refer to many things in life: food, merchandise (like diamonds–Marilyn would especially want to note), maybe love even (admittedly I’ve not been good at this). But in this case I’m talking about people. Are the people we meet, either at work, in social situations, on the street simply real?


You might wonder what I mean by this I suppose. Like, get real dude. It just seems the older I get, the more superficial people seem to me. Or at least, the less they are interested in things that involve anything that may mean thinking too hard, caring in a big way or really, really standing up for what you believe in.

It’s just easier to go to work, talk about your nails or hair, pretend that you’re friends with the person standing next to you, casually mention the horrors of the world, then hop in the fancy car and go home like nothing is happening. Like nothing is real. Like the horrors are really happening. Or your friends may not be really suffering, or maybe someone who isn’t your friend, just a co-worker, might need something from you more than a passing smirk.


No, it’s all about our own little microcosm. Our little floating bubbles that encase us and keep us separate but make it appear as though we’re able to see each other. But it’s just an illusion.

And in many ways I’m just as guilty. Oh I cry when I hear the news, but I don’t do anything about it. I just drive back and forth to work wishing I could do more. But I don’t. Not yet anyway. Swearing I will someday…when I can. At least I care I say to myself…it’s more than some. Does that make me more real?


When I’m with people, near people in real pain though, I do react. That much I can say. I can never sit by and just ignore it. And things like fingernails and doing my hair are not important to me anymore (well, they never were). It’s OK that they are to some, but there has to be more. Our worlds have to connect with people who have nothing.

So who is the real deal these days? Let’s get real here. Open our eyes to the real world. The war, the famine, the terror, the rape, the killing, the fires, the homeless, the poor, the racial disparity… And even the people close to us in true pain.

Let’s not pretend. Even while we live our comfortable lives, keep a piece of discomfort in our hearts to keep us real.

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8 thoughts on “The Real Deal

  1. I can completely relate. My tolerance for shallow small talk is almost zero at this point. Part of the problem, I think, is the way society is set up. So many of us work 9 to 5, Monday through Friday, until we feel like zombies. Television, Internet, film, and radio desensitize us. They’re meant to, I believe, which is why I avoid the first three. I don’t know the answer, other than rebelling against the status quo.

    1. I have not owned a TV for maybe 15 years or so (except it’s hooked up to watch a DVD if I want), I use the internet for email and my blog and an occasional search, I only listen to NPR radio so I can relate. I have always been a rebel I guess. Which can be good and bad. It alienates you from most people, which at times can be very lonely–but the friends I do make are the most wonderful and accepting folks. So I guess that’s just life. It’s sad to me the way life is I guess, but I don’t think people mean to be this way. Like you say: people just are trained this way.

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