Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Letting things be.

On my way home from the Aquatic Centre, I ran into a couple that had obviously just gotten into some kind of an argument. “You said you’d be better off without me!” accused the suburban blonde guy in his thirties. “I never said anything like that!” the bodacious brunette protested, as she charged at the doors of the Skytrain with her dozen shopping bags flying in all directions.
The guy followed her into the train, got himself caught between closing doors and, after wrestling with them for a moment, squeezed himself onto the train. There was some more huffing and puffing between the two, which in turn gave the two fashionably dressed Japanese exchange students sitting across from me something to chuckle about.
Yet another true Vancouver moment, I thought to myself as I was sipping on my small, bitter, regular Tim Hortons. So many cultures and people meshing and clashing with each other, enacting and viewing the daily tragedies that unravel on the monorail. There’s just no choice but to let them be, whether it’s a young silly couple or an old crazy addict from the Downtown Eastside.
That’s what still continues to captivate me as an expat – these moments of realization that sometimes there are no sides to be taken, because in our multifaceted world there are no sides to begin with. It seems infinitely comforting to realize that you can just let it be, as opposed to taking sides or stepping up in your head to correct someone. People are just so different that most of the time there is simply no way for us to even begin to wrap our heads around why they do the things they do. Again, the words of Huxley ring clear in my head, for “Sensations, feelings, insights, fancies — all these are private and, except through symbols and at second hand, incommunicable. We can pool information about experiences, but never the experiences themselves. From family to nation, every human group is a society of island universes.”

Yup, living abroad. It certainly makes for some neat zen moments on your way home from work.


Anonymous said...

Thanks, dude! That explains it.

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