Being Alone Together

Being Alone

   Just the other day I heard a young boy talking with his father. The boy had begun martial arts lessons and hadn’t ever done anything quite like it. He told me he felt different and acted different when his dad was around watching. He enjoys his lessons and he wants to continue learning, but when he’s alone he isn’t as confident in who he is. His father gives him strength in reaffirming his behavior and disciplining him. What I’ve seen is that his discipline would be comparable to telling someone something they really ought to know. It takes patience and understanding to help our youth in these ways. 

   I told the boy, the character we choose is the choices we make, and not to be afraid to be who you are. He said that was good to know and gave me a good smile. I’ve practiced sword fighting with this boy and his brother with wooden swords. I go and visit my friends from time to time. They are both good learners, and they both enjoy playing checkers. Young people need intellectual stimulation, as well as physical activities to look forward to. When the youth can participate with the learned, they may as well be considered growing. 

   The choices we make can seem arbitrary to a bystander or even ourselves. Perhaps they are. Some choices are as dillibrate as can be, but not for everybody, especially the young. Understanding what we do and why we do it is a rather captivating conundrum. Some describe doing this as “elusive” or “redundant”. Trying to control what’s elusive either leads to anger or a lesson to be learned. When we get into learning our lessons from life, we make room for the world to speak to us. Listening is learning, as watching is listening with your eyes. 

   Listening to someone share their experience is just as powerful as being listened to. Having things to share with the world is just as important as having your neighbor share themselves. Something quite odd, is if I needed to learn something from someone by listening, they might need to listen to me first to know what I needed to be listening to. Sharing in that way, is listening. Reciprocation is such a powerful word because of this. Reciprocation is without a doubt in my mind, the utmost redeeming factor for humanity. Reciprocating our attention might mean listening, and sharing when we are being listened to. We can reciprocate love and attention for each other and we can call it beautiful, friendship, or a word. 

   When the day comes to an end, the sound of the world sleeps and we are left with the quiet of a night. It’s the absence of sound that can frighten some, and for others is the absence of light. Similarly, an absence of listening can frighten those who need to know, and an absence of sharing can frighten those who are not heard. For some both are true.