July 21, 2010

A Private Man (Woman)

I was reading a piece written by Sam Tanenhaus in the NY Times this morning about John Updike, describing him as "a private man, a one-man gated community, visible from afar but firmly sealed off, with a No Trespassing sign posted in front." I suggest that this describes me and in fact most of us. I think most of us are able to function just fine despite having to deal with this and that psychosis such as shyness, coupled with varying degree's of lack of confidence.

As we grow, life and age does it's job of categorizing us into our appropriate boxes. That's not bad, we encourage the process. We go through life happy with mates of matching abilities, likes and dislikes, in those boxes, or ruts if you will, and a life of anonimity.

Except for those very lucky ones. Those humans who are born to excel, to lead, to achieve. Those kids in each of our classes who just know all the answers, who look the best usually, who are socially adept and who marry like people from their appropriate boxes, and have good looking, bright, achieving children.

Are those of us in our own boxes jealous of the achieving boxes appropriate financial rewards, their social prominence, their names in the paper, their place at the head of committees, and all the other places reserved for and seated at the head of the table? Maybe, but every honest person will probably breathe a little sigh of relief and thank them for doing what needs to be done so they won't have to look at me to do it. I'm happy in my appropriate box. I, and most of us are I think. I'm happy to reside there and just occasionally look the the Times and see how those achievers are doing.

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