It’s amazing to me that there are so many people out there that I know nothing about. I don’t just mean the ones I’ve come into contact with, those are obvious, I’m talking about the masses, people I’ve never laid eyes on or spoken to. I’m reminded of the scene in X-Men where Charles Xavier is using Cerebro to find another mutant. The scene shows, through digital animation, Charles filtering through thousands of people until he finds the one he’s looking for. Each one of the people he passes by has a story. Some of their stories are heroic, others tragic. Some of them are extremely gifted and some have only what it takes to exist. The ultimate truth is that all of them have something to offer. From the lowliest bum on the street, to the penthouse executive, they all have something to say.
There have been many people in my life that I have dismissed and not bothered to build a relationship with. Whether I was too distracted by something more important, or just didn’t think I was interested in them, I would move on and forget that I had ever had a moment with them. What might I have missed?
Building relationships is difficult for me. I don’t have that winning, people person type of personality. Sitting down with someone face to face and trying to carry on a conversation with them is excruciating for me. I’ve tried for years to improve that flaw in my personality, because it’s one of the few flaws that I have…HA! Truthfully, it’s hard to imagine what I might have missed out on by not trying to bring more friends or acquaintances into my circle.
Yesterday I decided to write a letter to someone important in my life, just to let him know how important he is to me. I can’t say those type things in person, so I decided on a letter. As I was following my stream of consciousness in the letter it occurred to me that despite having known this person for the better part of my life, I’d never really given myself the opportunity to really get to know him. He has so much to offer and I’d spent a lot of years ignoring it. Our relationship was hard to start with, so I pushed him away, but as I matured and circumstances changed, I never corrected that problem. As a result, when he and I needed each other the most, we were emotionally unavailable to each other. How much more would I have learned, and how much better of a person would I be if I had cultivated that relationship years sooner?
I guess the point is that you never know what kind of affect people will have on you. Sure, sometimes people can be a negative influence, but even then you learn something from them. You won’t live long enough to experience everything, and you can never be wise enough. So glean what you can from the people in your life, and freely share your experiences with others.