The other morning, as my wife and I were leaving our over fifty-five community, we were stopped by Ken who let us know that some of the residents were upset that we were allowed into the mobile home park. No, it wasn’t because we threw wild parties, played loud music, or drove much faster than the ten-mile-per-hour speed limit. No, it was because we were clearly not fifty-five and older. My wife and I laughed as Ken explained there was only one real vocal person expressing his discontent. He also explained that the man is quite the complainer anyway.
The truth of it is I will turn sixty on the 21st of this month and my wife is now fifty-five. Both of us were blessed with the genetics that kept us on the youthful side of aging. Both of us were carded well into our thirties and I angered a coworker a while back when he discovered that I was actually five years older than him. He had believed it was the other way around.
Appearances – we’ve all heard it: Don’t judge a book by its cover, and yet, judging people based on their appearances is still a widespread problem. Be it racial profiling or just plain profiling people have been maimed and killed over our little differences let alone hurt or embarrassed. I was in a restaurant this week and two businessmen were talking about some women in the office. You know the tripe; one’s cute and he wants to know her better but the other one is just plain ugly. I just want to scream when I hear that kind of talk but I keep quiet and remember a line from one of my favorite philosophers: Andy Warhol, who once commented that: “If everyone isn’t beautiful then no one is.” I was trained to see the world as an anthropologist but I have also learned to view the world as an artist and I do my best to see the beauty in all things.
The world I am a part of seems to have developed more tolerance for diversity. A whole generation of tattoos and piercings that had people upset hardly seem to turn an eye anymore. The length or color of one’s hair, their gender, their orientation, their ethnicity, and their spiritual preferences are more acceptable. I say the world that I am a part of because I know these advances are not happening everywhere but, like John Lennon, I like to Imagine that maybe some day they may.
Imagine all the people.