Saturday, August 28, 2004

The gems that we are

It's time for my Saturday posting. I've been thinking about alot of things to write about, most of them seem kind of banal and commonplace. I decided to write about something that seems to make perfect sense to me; how people are somewhat like precious gemstones. I'm not saying that people are cold, inanimate objects. I'm not saying that people are decorations to be worn and displayed. I'm not saying that people themselves are the gemstones, just that some aspects of a person are quite like some aspects of gemstones.

When you meet a person you see one side of that person usually. You may share a common interest or two with that person, but usually not much more. You see one facet of that person. You meet one facet of that person. Sometimes you are intrigued and want to learn much more about that person, you want to see the other facets of that person. Sometimes you see the flaw in that facet and you focus only upon that flaw. I have friends, or more appropriately acquaintances, that I only get to see one facet of their lives whether it be the work facet or the hockey facet or the music facet or the whatever facet. They too only get to see that one facet of my life.

But like a finely cut gem we all have more than just one facet. We cannot demand to see the rest of the gem, we cannot command it to show us the precision of the cuts, the perfection of the polished surfaces. We need but to turn the stone. We need but to seek the other sides of the story. We need to look further than the veneer and finish further into the stone to see what makes that stone unique.

In the human realm that is tantamount to asking questions and offering ourselves under the scope as well. So there is a large amount of trust involved in this process. Discovering the flaws in the gemstone lives of others gives us a chance for self-reflection upon the flaws and foibles in our own lives. But this process is also quite a liberating one for what could be more compelling to trust except the the freedom that one finds in exposing the truth and having it be accepted?

Life is a series of trusts, of friendships, a process of discovery of the world around us and also the world within us. Self-discovery is probably the most important part of this life. How can one expect to meet life-long friends, form relationships, and create partnerships without this very process? We are born an unfinished, uncut gem. The shape of the stone, the clarity, the color are added with each experience that we live through. Nietchze said "That which does not kill me makes me stronger." I believe this to be true, to an extent. That which we survive lends to us strength, that which we prevail over adds confidence to this strength.

As we learn of ourselves we can choose to concentrate upon the the positive aspects of our lives, or we can concentrate upon the flaws. I do not know why some people would concentrate upon the negatives that are within these gemstone lives, but some people obsess about the "badness" or the "wrongness" of their lives. I have a friend who continually wants to know why I am his friend. He sees within himself a worthlessness, a non-deserving person. I cannot understand this. He, at times, professes to hate everyone that surrounds him, even those of us who do love him. I wish I could enlighten him as to the positives in his life, that he is concentrating upon the flaw, not the gem.

I have other friends that I have had the opportunity to see the entirety of their facets. I have learned the whole of their gemstones. Looking at the whole person shows how the flaws or less than perfect parts add to the individualities of the gemstone-person. You can see the flaws for what they are: differences that should be celebrated. People don't fit into a mold. People aren't the product of cookie cutter technology, neither are gemstones.

A gemstone is usually hand cut, by a master who has had years of experience and can "feel" how the stone will react to a certain type of filing, or cutting or polishing. Unfortunately the masters that cut people's gemstone-personalities are sometimes inexperienced and allow the flaws to become more prominent that they should be. In fact, after a certain age, we become our own gem cutters. It is a travesty of sorts, but in other ways it lends us a certain credibility and gives us an awesome responsibility as well.

I guess that the point to this posting is that every day you have the opportunity to affect someone's day in either a positive or a negative manner. If you have a penny, leave one at the counter. If you need one, please take one. But don't take more than you give. Don't become so caught up in your own facets that you cannot see the flaws within yourself. We are all human, and we are all in this together.

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