Listening to Life Stories

I would love to write something along the lines of “I stopped in town on the way to work this morning, and got my hair cut” – but that’s not quite what happened. Somewhere along the way the pretty girl in the barber shop decided to unload most of her recent life history on me. I’m beginning to wonder if I have some sort of sign suspended above my head that I’m unaware of.

Within the space of the twenty minutes or so it took her to transform my head from a vaguely tidy neanderthal to an instagram influencer (har har, who am I kidding), I heard all about her new house, growing up with two brothers, what her childhood had been like, who would be sharing her new house, what her parents thought about her leaving home, how she liked her car that was old but still ran ok even though her friends made fun of it… I could go on. She did.

You know the funny thing though? I couldn’t help liking her. I tend to like most people – I always have done. As long as they are not intentionally ignorant, rude, or obnoxious.

It’s got me thinking now though – why we put up with some people, but not others. I tend to admire the more “individual” people I know – the more unique, quirky, or eccentric, the better. I also know that I tend to ignore those that follow the status quo – that accept what they are told to believe, that pretend to live perfect lives in perfect houses with perfect children, and perfect advertising campaigns plastered all over social media.

I will freely admit to having something of a chip on my shoulder about certain subjects. I hate ostentatious displays of wealth (which I am ufortunately surrounded by where I live), and suffer silently while those “with faith” around me give credit to everything that happens in their lives or the world around them to an imaginary creator figure, or his pretend son that debatably lived two thousand years ago.

It’s always seemed to me that people “of faith” cherry pick the bits and pieces they want to in order to validate their actions, or to cope with the actions of others around them. Here’s the thing – you can do the same trick with any text of sufficient length.

Who remembers the “Bible Code” book by Michael Drosnin all those years ago – where he discovered that if you wrapped the text of the Christian Bible at different widths, words would cluster in the giant resulting word-search that made it look like all of recorded history was encoded into the text of the bible. Of course what the author didn’t mention – and believers didn’t question – was why the same process worked on ANY big book.

It’s about as ridiculous as saying “OH MY GOD – It turns out you can make literally EVERY word, EVER thought up by using JUST the letters of the ALPHABET – ALL the words have been SECRETLY encoded in combinations of the letters. HOW did the creators of the alphabet DO that?”

And look what I’m doing. With no prompting what-so-ever, I’m unloading half of my brain onto this blog post. I guess I’m not so different to the girl that cut my hair after all (well… apart from she was pretty, and had lady parts).

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