Today I was cleaning out my Google Drive photos and happened upon some pictures. At the time when I looked at or took those photos (not just me, but photos from others as well), I was thinking "So happy. Everyone is so happy." That was, at the time, the present, and the only story I knew was the one I was in at that moment, or that I was seeing with my limited capacity brain. Today when I look at those photos, they are the past. Today I know the story. When I look at those photos now, I know that in some cases the person in them was having some problems, was lying to someone, was planning something unknown that would hurt someone, was angry with the person they were sitting or standing next to, or was just incredibly unhappy about something in their life.. When I look at them now, knowing that back story, what I know is that although they were smiling for the camera, they were not happy. When the camera was pointed at them and the photographer said "smile!!" that's exactly what they did. They curved their mouth into the symbol for happy, but inside, not so much.
If we all had that extra usage - just another 5% or 10% - we would be able to see through that facade and know the story. The question I ask is: do we not - as small-time brain users - have the capacity to see past the happy symbol, or do we have the capacity and simply choose not to see something that may require conversation and/or effort?
So here's the thing that occurs to me as I continue to think about Lucy and life and photos and humans: let's try to stretch our brains just a little. Even though we likely won't get to 15%, we can in fact use our brains along with our hearts and instincts. We can look deeper, look into their eyes, listen to the words they tell us, and understand at least a smidgen of their truth. Perhaps in so doing we can rise above our limitations and become more sensitive, kinder, gentler, less judgmental people. We can ask ourselves why on earth we turn our backs on people - especially those we purport to love. We can look at our parents, friends, and family members and choose not to be pissed off at someone because they disagree with us (or we with them), or because they exercised their free will and did something different than us. We can stop tormenting people we know and love with a need to control or dominate. And we can, maybe, apply that to the broader population: to our communities, to our villages, our nation, those in countries we may never visit but who could use our support and love instead of the blind eye we choose to turn.
Am I great at this? I won't pretend I am. But I do try to limit my angst and anger (well, except that whole breakup thing, but that was covered elsewhere), and I certainly try not to direct it toward my family members. Why? Short of them doing something really horrible to me or another human (and I'm not talking about hurting someone's feelings and having slip-ups where you hurt someone unintentionally, I'm talking about just in general being a shitty, horrible, harmful human), it is entirely unnecessary for me to get angry with them, or to judge them, take sides with or against them, or to stop talking to them. I really do not need to contribute to being a part of a photo where people are simply smiling and not really happy. I'm not perfect, but expanding my capacity to stay away from this is certainly a worthwhile endeavor, and I'm willing to give it a shot.
So I've got that going for me...