In the end, it does not matter.
I know a lot of different kinds of people. I know folks with money, and without. I know folks who are uptight and snobby, and I know folks who are down to earth and overly giving. I know earth muffins, mother-Goddesses and crunchy granolas. I know avid outdoorsman and women, survivalists, rednecks and hicks. I know Mexicans, African-Americans, Natives, Asians, Whites and unknowns. I know lawyers, accountants, farmers and retired folks. I feel the folks I know run the gamut of societal sectors, income brackets, educational levels and political sides of the house. I know all these folks and I appreciate them all.
In the end, all that does not fucking matter.
I connect with folks from nearly every walk of life, nearly every side of this complex cube of living, and nearly every way one chooses to be in the world. The funny thing is that I have something in common with someone from each of these groups. While it seems we should be different, we share something that brings us together. We have something to talk about, connect over, a common bond we never would have found had we only passed each other by.
I know I am unique. I know that I am uncommon, as I have been called to my face. I know I do not really occupy one space and I am OK with that. In fact, I am usually proud of it. I do not respect you for your title or your income or your height or your education. I will respect you if I find something different in you, something that you know or that you can teach me. I have to see something in you that I also have, or that I do not possess, that I may admire, or that I can never attain. It is in that small slice of the other that I find the way we are the same. Does that even make sense?
I am comfortable enough in myself to not be intimidated merely by your pedigree. You have to prove yourself to me. No matter what you bring to the table on paper or your business card or with your title. You have to back that shit up or I will not give you the time of day. My respect, my trust, my recognition of you still has to be earned. I mean earned the old fashioned way, where you have to bring more than your wallet or your degree or your physical strength. You have to bring your integrity, your humanness, your personhood, your essence, your honesty and your humility. You have to keep it real with me or you mean nothing. You may out house, out car, out paycheck and out educate me, but you still have to earn my respect, my notice, and be worthy for me to see, honor and spend time with you.
I have recently learned this when the person I was with spoke in millions where I speak in thousands, and yet another person close to me speaks in hundreds where I speak in thousands. I learned that we have other things in common, other areas where we both are learning and growing. No matter your bank or asset balance, when we talk over beers or coffee we are the same.
Often times we look to those we view as superior and we lust after what they have. We see them as more of a person, more valued, and perhaps even more desirable because of their fancy job or houses or jet-set life. I challenge you to set all that aside. Put away the wallet, the financial statement, the degree or certification, and even the paycheck. Meet me person to person, then, and only then, can we realize our mutual worth. What we mean to each other is not attached to our external points of perceived value. Oh no, my friend, not at all. What we mean to each other goes far deeper than that cash stash or that fancy car or those houses you own. What we mean as people is only dependent upon what we have to give to each other, what we have to share, and what we have to learn and teach.
When we meet person to person, not one of those superficial and external areas matters. When we meet as humans it is only as humans that we find our common ground, our value and our meaning to one another.
I value my training buddy who taught me that his financial value compared to mine is a mute point when we have so many other areas to share. I value our friendship and the time we spend. I value that our value is on our common and shared interests, our shared approach to life, and our shared hobbies. I value him as a human being and it is my honor to share our common interests and, therein, we find the value.
Cheers to common ground!!