Sunday, February 22, 2009


Not that I walked the earth 200 years ago, or even 100, but I imagine that when one human being met another on a roadway or trail, they would greet or at least acknowledge each other. Agree?

Yet, today, we pass lots of people each day as we walk through buildings, in stores, or on sidewalks. And what do we do? I bet most of us glance away. We pass homeless people, handicapped, and laborers (not the ones with beer bellies and plumber's butts who are wolf whistling, hootin' and hollering as a woman passes by -- this no longer happens to me, by the way, and these guys are certainly not invisible) without a word of greeting.

My mother, when she was aging and I was raging, (not really, but it had poetic rhyme, and I was certainly not saging at that point - I was just young and still full of myself) shared with me that she had become invisible, and invited me shopping with her to prove her point. She would walk into a store, look at items, handle them, get out her purse and her wallet, and even her money --- and do you think anyone noticed her? No one even looked her way. Inveriably, she would have to go and get a salesperson's attention. She indeed, truly became invisible.

I am at that age and stage of invisiblity. If I have my green glasses on -- then I am the "mature woman wearing green glasses," but otherwise, I am still pretty invisible. And each day, I pass those same invisible people, hurrying with their briefcases, or pushing a broom -- either way, invisible.

So as a tribute to my mother, may her spirit be a blessed memory, I have vowed that within my power: NO MORE INVISIBLE PEOPLE. I try to at least greet each person I pass. Fortunately I do not live in NYC or I'd be doing that scene from Crocodile Dundee where he says "g'day mate" to a million New Yorkers as he is caught in a typical rush hour mob street scene. If someone is cleaning a building, I wish them a good day and thank them for making the building cleaner. I might ask a person's name. Or complement them on something they are wearing. Oh sure, some folks walk on by -- but that is their gig not mine. Mine is: NO MORE INVISIBLE PEOPLE.

This is not the least bit easy for me. I am horribly shy (really, honest) and for each greeting of someone I do not know, I have to literally push myself to open my mouth and say something. Even now. And sometimes I think to myself: "please, no more greetings," when it is late and I am tired, but I will push just one more time, and maybe I am the spark of humanity that touched that person's spirit that day.....and maybe not. But I am not the one to pre-judge that.

How about you? What do you think about the concept of "invisiblity" -- and does it make sense to join me in wishing every person on this earth a G'day mate?

Wouldn't that be a hoot?!

1 comment:

jandismall said...

Great post, Ann! I live out in the boonies and people are not invisible out here. We smile and wave at every car we pass on our road -- and they do the same. Once we get to State Road 70, however, the invisibility sets in and the people in the cars are no longer seen as neighbors. If we could realize that we are all neighbors really, maybe the attitude would change. I won't start waving at all cars -- that could cause accidents -- but I will start making eye contact and smiling more.