There is a man who spends most of his days at the downtown public library. He is a masterful drawer, a casual pianist, a raconteur and very knowledgeable about a great variety of topics and issues. His clothing style changes daily, everything from construction-worker-casual to artist to gentleman, and he has a distinguished manner about him. For the purposes of this reflection let’s just call him Phil.
Often Phil is sitting leisurely on a wooden chair at the top of the stairs and sketching on a large notepad but also observing the people around him and engaging them in conversation. It is often one-sided talking as people are thrown off by his manner. He is schizophrenic and talks to himself often but will engage anyone in banter or world events. He is very intelligent but his mind is processing so many things at once or repeatedly he comes across as “crazy” to others and they avoid him or sometimes joke about him behind his back. He can bring a level of intensity and can be quite animated and passionate when he shares his ideas, stories and jokes.
Phil is not a chess player or interested in the game itself but often watches us play at the tables there. I have always appreciated him for his presence and how he does choose to interact with everyone. Most brush him off for they do not see that he is choosing his level of interaction and participation as everyone else is. He brings his energy to the place. And his presence is felt. He feels like part of the ‘family’ and energy there and I could not imagine the place without him.
It would not be the same without him. And the world would be a boring place without the variety and diversity we all bring to it.
People may not make choices that you agree with or like. They may do things that trigger your fears as well. But everyone brings their energy to the table, in some way. And that is what it is all about.
That is what makes the world what it is and always will.