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We live on the surface of just about everything. We ride the ‘edges’ of our time. People once said: “oh man, he is so far out!” That, by the way, was a good thing to be. Today we all know it’s important to “keep on top of things” and declare we’ve “got it covered” while proclaiming we have “wrapped ourselves around it”. You know, like the economists, bankers and CEO’s were saying about the economy and their businesses just, oh, a year or two ago. Going out we once wore top hats to expand, or enlarge, the ‘top’ of us. But now, when going out, we ‘take it to the Limit’- we take ourselves to the outer reaches of fun if we can. The Classics get left behind in College curriculum’s  while NASA searches for the outer most limits of our Galaxy. It’s all about the surfaces, the limits, the edges of behavior, communication or thought.

Around water, accordingly, most of us like to play it safe, not caring to dive into it and take a closer look-that’s too much trouble, almost like work and risky on top of that! No, we prefer to float or  swim on the surface. We all know there’s  much more to see underneath the water, below the water’s surface, but that is of no matter to us. Some  may even bravely snorkel about the surface of the water, taking a ‘peek’ at what truly makes up most of the water we’re gliding upon. But even then, generally, we are happy to stay where we are- on the top, on the surface of the water. Plainly, we’re surface people.  It has been said “The Clothes make the Man.” Forget what the Man might have said, just look at that silk jacket, patent leather shoes and top notch polarized shades!

It’s odd how much attention the surface of people and matters get today. When it comes to diving into things like events, facts, truth, right verses wrong and all the stuff this type of delineation entails we’re just not much up to the task. Most of us want it to keep it simple: we want obvious, up front decisions backed by shinning in the light of day clarity; we want a black and white, one from the other, never the two the same, easy to read, on the surface life. This is our life boat of choice; this is our modus operandi as a people in general.

I suppose back in the day quick, hard decisions were best. We have come from a World of split second survival decisions or we didn’t.  No time to decide if you want to invite that 10 foot lizard to lunch, be lunch, find common ground or run. Just run hopefully and send a smoke signal later with apologies if necessary. Odd it would be to live in a Time filled with not much Time to think-just react for your own good and you’ll live to hand signal or draw in the dirt about it. Otherwise, you’ll be that scattered broken line drawing instead.

Maybe that’s why things are the way they are. Maybe this is why we still, to this Day, delineate things into black and white so quickly. And it doesn’t matter to most of us what the outcome of past decisions have been because of this. I know, it’s a busy life and if we put a lot of thought time into our daily actions, well, we’d die of old age before lunch.

But there’s a real cost in decision making based on a lack of much real thought when it comes to the constructs of our perceptions. I don’t know the answer but think about this: while people often bemoan the numbers of people who have died throughout the course of Human History in religious fighting,  what’s the total amount of people who have died throughout History because of their color? You see-it’s a surface kind of thing and we’re a surface kind of people.

I’ve decided the next time I meet or see another person and find myself noticing their surface skin color I’m going to remember this: the difference between black and white skin colors is a small genetic difference-a difference of just one letter in 3.1 billion letters of DNA found in each of us. Who knows, maybe there’s even less differences than that between other colors of people?

I know, who’s got time to think about Man’s similarities when we’re so busy killing each other today? We’ve got killing, mayhem, genocides and nuclear bomb tests to read and learn about first. Let’s get to the inside stuff, the sanity part, the reasons later. Now it is a time for surfaces.

Once a mirror was asked:” Who is the fairest of them all?”  Surely this would be no one who’s stuck on black and white, stuck on the surface look of people and things. These people, like so many of us, are not so fair at all. We are just surface people and our surfaces still need a good cleaning. In the mean time, I’ve got an idea to use until we get the cleaning we need as a People.

The next time a child asks me why the water is blue I’m going to take a glass and dip it in the water, filling the glass. I’m going to hold that glass up for us both to see that the water is clear- it just looks blue from the outside. Maybe we can both learn that we have to look at the inside, at the underneath part, of anything before we can really know it’s true color-and even better yet, maybe that will help us to learn about true worth. Then, only then, will we really be ready to dive into our World.


(if you want to know about the REAL number of DNA)

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June 2009