Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Roles We Play

We all have them. Roles we have to play as we go through life.  Some roles we enjoy, others not so much.  We are sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, bosses, coworkers, the new guy, the veteran, the bitch, and the asshole.  The list goes on and on.  At various stages of our lives we have to perform in roles we don't like so much.  We have to be the strict parent when a child is in trouble.  We have to be the boss that cracks the whip when chaos reigns. We have to be the adult child taking care of an ailing parent.  If we define ourselves by our roles, we're always in a state of flux.

I often joke at work, where the title, "vice president" gets tossed around like a Cub Scout badge, that in a perfect world my title would be Vice President of All that is Good and Happy.  Honestly, I don't want to deal with the other stuff.  The negativity surrounds us most times and I want to be an island of calm and tranquility.  Like I said, in a perfect world.

As I slip in and out of the roles I play, who I am doesn't change.  At heart I'm still the same person.  I cry watching sad commercials and Golden Girls.  I love cleaning house to ABBA blaring through iPod speakers.  I hate injustice. I have little respect for authority, and I can spend hours alone in a room with a book or a keyboard under my fingers. That's me before the labels and roles get added on and hopefully that's still me as I'm playing the roles.

As we travel though life and come up against the other humans on the path, don't define them by their roles.  Try to look past them and see the human underneath. The cop who just gave you a ticket for driving too fast might also be the "cookie dad" for his daughter's Kindergarten class.  The bitch who cut you off on the highway might have been rushing home to care for her father with Alzheimer's.  The guy cleaning the toilets may hold a Masters in Business Administration.

Break out of the boxes people, including ourselves, want to put us in.   We are much more than that.

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