Thursday, October 2, 2008

Existence

Sometimes I believe that human beings have a built-in desire to be seen and heard.

We wear the red hat or the short skirt or the tight shirt just so that we will be noticed, and perhaps admired, or we dye our hair and pierce our bodies, and create permanent art on our skin so that we will be recognized as different from the crowd...

We strive for the promotion not just for the raise, but for the job title on the business card, so that we have a piece of cardboard that becomes tangible proof that we are important.

We have something inside of us that screams to come out, so we turn to poetry or music or dance, or we create some physical object that quiets the yearning, and we call it art.

There is a fundamental need to have our existence validated, to be told that we matter, that our presence on this earth has meaning and value. At times I think we are frightened that without that validation, we will begin to disappear.

Sometimes I feel like the little kid poised on the end of the diving board, bouncing up and down with impatience, wanting to be seen.

"Look at me, Mommy, look at me!" I call into the silence.

1 comment:

Fran said...

Yes, we all have that need! My lifelong struggle is to find a balance between hiding my talents altogether and being a shameless showboat. I think it's sad when I see people try to fade into the background. I wonder what happened in their lives to make them want to disappear. The way we connect is to share our identity, art, opinions, and yes, our sense of self-worth. I had to build up my own sense of worth once I realized that my daughter would see me as a role model. It has been a much better life for me since I've been more accountable for myself.