Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Just People Trying To Get Through The Day

Yesterday on my way to the monastery I visited Small Town, USA.  All small towns look the same to me.  I stopped at a fast food restaurant for some breakfast.  My guess is that I was the only person in the restaurant who didn't vote for Donald Trump.  Every man in the restaurant looked like a "good ole boy".  They were all wearing baseball hats.  I was the only man wearing a knitted, multi-colored hat that I bought at Earthbound.  No one could see my long hair or the Buddhist medallion I was wearing.  My progressive, liberal views were not on display but I was definitely feeling like an outsider.

I started up a conversation with a man standing next to me.  We disclosed that we were both retired.  He told me that he retired from General Electric when he was 55 years old.  He asked about my retirement so I told him I had retired after 32 years with Humana.  He responded, "Humana?  You must have had one of them good jobs".  I know he assumed I was some kind of executive or management person.  He had a pension.  I have a 401K.

If I had "one of them good jobs", why did this man get to retire at the relatively young age of 55 and I had to work until I was 66 years old?

The conversation was actually kind of enjoyable.  I know that if we got into politics we would probably have many disagreements.  Yesterday, however, we were just two retired guys trying to get some breakfast and hoping we got our senior citizen discount.

It is my experience that whenever I have random and unplanned conversations with other human beings, we are just people trying to get through the day.  America is a very divided country right now.  This divide is maintained because leaders on both sides of the divide are constantly stirring the pot of hatred and mistrust.  I am not discounting the reality that there are some serious issues in our culture and society.  However, the temperature of our discourses could be lowered significantly if we just shared a biscuit and a cup of coffee and talked to one another.

1 comment:

Tim Bindner said...

I live in a small town and yes I often wear baseball caps, but I am an oddity here. I didn't vote for or support Trump. I learn to except others views though I don't agree with them. I don't waste my energy trying to convey my views or persuade others.