Sooooooo, it’s been a while. But trust me, I’ve been thinking about everyone (especially you, sweet, sweet blog with all your fine blogness). Just been (lazy) busy. But, there has been a lot going on, and even more on my mind, so for the next few posts I’ll be spilling thing instances that have inspired me over the last few weeks.
Let’s start with what happened this past week. On the way to my landlord’s house to drop off his rent money (yes, it was late. Don’t judge me) I walked past an old man standing on the corner. When I passed him he called out, “Hey, young man!” but in true New York fashion I kept it moving. I guess I thought he was out of his mind. Honestly, now that I’m rehashing the story, I’m a bit embarrassed about the fact that I snubbed an elder. Yikes. (Note to self: Recalibrate your integrity.)
I fed him some nonsense about being in a rush, in which he replied with a shouting, “No!” Yes, he yelled at me, though I was already far ahead of him. He continued. “Come here!” pointing to the ground as if I was his seven year old grandson. And I felt like I was. All the respect that I was raised with suddenly returned, coursing through my psyche like it was yesterday I was being scolded by my own mother. So, I walked back.
Once in front of him, he said, “What’s wrong with your back?”
“Nothing,” I said, confused, thinking that maybe he really was just a crazy old man afterall.
“Then why do you walk bent over?” he asked, placing one hand no my back, and the other on my shoulder. “Straighten up, so that when you’re eighty-nine, like me, you can do this.”
Then he took off down the block. Sprinting.
When he returned, his flashed a toothless smile, “See?”
“No one is gonna tell you this, son,” he continued. “People don’t have a reason to tell you to stand up, and many would rather see you bent over. But if I let you go, and not say something, when your fifty, and dragging your lips on the ground, bowing to people who don’t deserve any subservient posturing, then it’s my fault.” He put his hand on my shoulder again. “So head up. Shoulders back. Straight,” he said. Then, “Let me see you give it a try.”
Yes…he made me show him that I could walk straight up. I had to prove it to him and only after that did he permit me to go.
I was embarrassed, humbled, and unbelievably grateful for what he had done for me. My posture has never been perfect. I know that. But people don’t say anything about it. Thankfully he did, so that I show myself as confident, and bow only by choice, not because my body (and arguably in some way my mind) has evolved through laziness and comfort, into a, I don’t know, cowering position.
Something to think about.
(Note to self: when you get older, and you can sprint like that old man, remember to yell at young people when they think you’re crazy. And when they come waddling up to you, shook, tell them something that reminds them that you love them.)