For those of you who follow my young blog, you may remember that I live in a small beach town in the south. If not, take a look back at You Don’t Look God With Socks and Sandals. I’d be pretty spot-on if I made the claim that I live in small town USA. However, I do have to give credit where credit is due and say that my little hometown is larger than the one-traffic-light towns you read about and see on T.V. We have almost 4,000 residents in our little niche in America. I just tried Googling what the average population of a city in the US is, and I gave up. I think, however, that I am safe to take the liberty to say that our four-thousand is well below average. If I’m wrong, sue me.
I grew up adorned with skinned knees, knowing when it was dinner time by my Dad’s piercing whistle, sore from my ass getting beat if I was disrespectful or naughty, and genuinely happy and enriched. I also grew up somewhat sheltered. It wasn’t until school that I realized people were not “all the same” or “created equally”. Atticus, an Officer of the Court, upholder of justice and law, instilled those values in his children from a very early age. I learned quickly that it is not how a person looks or in what circumstance they were born that makes them who they are, but how they live; how they overcome adversity; what standard they hold their life too. I never thought that people were better/worse off than another because he was colored, rich/poor, or different. It all came down to the makeup of the person and how they chose to progress their life. I don’t believe it is right to pass judgement on someone, that is God’s task. I know, however, that human err is great and we species pass judgement on each other every day. I’m guilty of this myself. However, I believe it is even more damnable to segregate ourselves or each other due to shallow,predetermined, and superficial judgments. I affirm that if a person be judged, judge them on the impact they put on this world, not how they look carrying out that task.
Whenever I got to school I soon realized people will ostracize themselves into their own little groups. It starts out small in earlier school days like the smart kids, the popular kids, the athletes, etc; the real cliché groups. It’s when I hit high school that it got interesting. The groups diversified and consolidated into tight niches that ironically enough, became a reflection of the society we have here in Beachville.
It was so apparent, much like how you can tell “who a person is” by what housing area they live in, that if you walked out into the courtyard, which was a square in the center of the school, you could see the different sections visibly. The “rednecks” literally had a wall of the school specifically for themselves. I remember this so clearly because I could not believe it. We were still, obviously, in high school and were immature and unrefined with our young age, so our “clicks” hadn’t become as universal as they do later after graduation. In high school you have hipsters, skaters, athletes, drama club, band, rednecks, Blacks, Asians, Mexicans, the popular, pot-heads, sluts, nerds, ROTC, goths, the gays, and the complete outcasts. Then, of course, you had the multi-faceted beings who ping-ponged between multiple clicks.
Then there were people like me: I tried to be a friend to all, but never belonged to one group in particular. I wasn’t necessarily a “lone wolf”, but I was lonely. Anyways, you can see that from an objective eye, these groups don’t go away after you enter the “real world”, but they just consolidate even further to become vast and inclusive groups. You have the rich vs. poor, country-folk vs. city-slickers, religion vs. religion, race vs. race, Republican vs. Democrat, Coke vs. Pepsi…you get the idea. The groups are so much more prodigious, because as we get older we lose a lot of our identity. We divide ourselves by the big “dividers”; race, religion, income, background, etc. This isn’t any better, or any worse, than how we did it in high school really. I mean sure, everyone wants to feel like they belong to someone or something. I draw the line at taking issue with someone because they picked a different group to belong too.
Beachville is much like anywhere else you would visit in America; we have the basic “classes” and most of the time we live in relative harmony. Most of the time. Then, during the summer, we have “tourons” come down to fuck shit up and then we get a tad hostile. (Insert ironic and hypocritical comment like, “Damn those Yankees!”) That’s how this world is, until someone changes it.
I watched Cloud Atlas this weekend. It’s horrible…don’t watch it. The best part of the whole dreadful three-hour letdown, that relates to my contention in this post in regards to people changing, was a quote one of the characters said to a man who told him: “No matter what you do it will never amount to anything more than a single drop in a limitless ocean.”
The man responded by saying, “What is an ocean but a multitude of drops?”
And he walked away.