Sunday, September 15, 2013
Oh, the places you’ll go…
It has been brought to my attention recently that are a few places we visit where there are no 'walls'...
Walls defined (by me) as: fees to enter, membership required, certain attire required, you must be ‘this tall’ to ride, you must not be this color to enter, you must drive this kind of car to come here, and you have to dress this way to visit here, you must be pretty to hang out here. Those walls. We’ve all experienced them. Sometimes walls are good. They can keep us safe in certain situations. They act as protection. Other times, walls act as what they really are - barriers to keep us either in or out. For whatever reason.
Being the type of person that I am (I hate people) I usually tend to dig the whole wall thing. I get that certain people just don’t ‘belong’ in certain places. What? They don’t. I know for damn sure my old, fat ass doesn’t belong in the junior section of the department store or the nightclub with the 21&under set. The dude next door to me who is a scream-talker doesn’t belong in the library or the movies (or really anywhere, whole other story). Pets shouldn’t be hanging around in restaurants while I’m trying to stuff my face. Kids shouldn’t be unattended at the…anywhere. You’re getting this, right?
This blog post isn’t about those places. It’s about the places that have no walls. I’ve been noticing some shit lately. Let me explain…There are few places I’ve found where you can find all walks of life. What I mean is the places where ALLTHEPEOPLE visit at some time or another. Places we are allowed to visit to and we are accepted. Equally.
The gas station - Most of us have been here at one time or another. The gas station is a place where all people are welcome. There are no walls. At the gas station you see white people, black people, rich people, poor people, handicapped people, kids, adults, nicely dressed folk, people in work clothes, fat people, skinny people, dying people, newborn people, etc… It’s a mixed up jumble. There is no hierarchy. Everyone is equal at the gas station. It’s a place we all have to go unless of course we’re of the billionaire set and our butler, Jeeves, gets the gas for us. See? Even Jeeves can hit the gas station. There is no judging (well, there might be some). Everyone is there for one common goal. Gas. This may seem like a simple concept but think about it. How is possible for people who cannot agree on anything else in life to accomplish this gas pumping task? Together. It’s been happening for years. Since cars were invented. We go, we pump, and we get along. No walls. It’s seamless. It may only be for a few short minutes, but we do it. Amazing, no?
Government Agencies– For the most part, we’ve all had to hit a government building. Whether it’s a courthouse, a clerk’s office, the capital building in your city, a police department, a utility office, the housing authority, the agriculture department, council for the arts, community development, you get the idea. At one time or another we’ve all had to visit a government agency. Again…race, financial status, sexual orientation, clothing style? All of those things go out the window. It’s another place with no walls. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to visit. We are just able to roam freely, together. And? Nothing out of the ordinary happens. A wealthy older white woman can sit right next to a homeless black man. The girl with the ring in her nose and tattoos can have coffee at the same table with a man in a business suit. People are there for all different reasons. The young couple getting married, the old couple getting divorced, the family filing a will with probate, the poor getting assistance with finances, the attorney arriving for court, you renewing your driver’s license; all visiting these agencies. It happens. Every day. And guess what? It works. No walls. Everyone is equal.
There aren’t many places where everyone is accepted. No matter what you believe, who you are or where you live, this is true. There are places where you can see a lot of different types of people. For example, the grocery store or an amusement park has all different kinds of folks. However, you have to have money (wall) to go to the grocery. And, while an amusement park has quite a mix it’s not a place we are all welcome (A lot of us don’t have tickets).
I’m not really sure where I was going with this post except that it was something that really interested me. I like to observe people and their habits. I happened to be sitting at a red light one day and looked over at the gas station and watched all of the different walks of life. Yep, that’s where this whole thing began. I guess my main point here is that if we (people) can handle being together in places without walls, why in the hell doesn’t it carry over into our daily lives and places with walls? Why do we accept people in certain situations and not others?
I hate people.