I think people are meant to keep other people sane. As if God knew that the monotony of life would drive us all crazy unless we had someone to talk to, someone to laugh at our stupid jokes. Let me tell you what I mean. Today at work I was going crazy with boredom, as was the security guard (Angie), and I couldn’t find anything to occupy my time as my girlfriend was at work and I was tired of reading. I went back to the break-room for a Krispy Kreme doughnut to satisfy my sweet-tooth, and I ended up having a great talk with our maintenance guy Martin, who is the archetype of kindness and strong work ethic, about kids and what causes them to develop their small personalities. After a few doughnuts I came back to my stand and apologized for being gone so long to Angie who laughed and said it was fine. I know that was a simple interaction, between me and Martin and the security guard, but I kept noticing things: like the happiness it brought Martin and I as we shared stories of growing up and Martin told me about his kids, and the smile and laugh Angie gave (the first such smile I had seen all morning) when I told her that I had been talking too long in the back room. Anywhere else those interactions would have been much less important, even negligible, but here, in the midst of our boredom, they became bright moments in an otherwise dull day. It just strikes me as funny, I guess, how circumstances can change everything. People who wouldn’t otherwise get along reminisce happily about life, thoughts and feelings are shared in a way that would never happen unless these people were thrown into the same random situation at a random time in the same random place. It kind of makes me wonder if things aren’t set in motion purposely by something bigger, higher than me.
Of course there is a flip side to this, in which one can overcome circumstances to become good friends. I was talking to my friend Jared the Anti-Establishment Future Pastor the other day, and we were talking about the circumstances through which we met almost a year ago. I’ll just say they were less than favorable, and I admitted I thought at first that he was a tool, and he said that he thought I was a tool at first, too. But somehow we were able to move beyond that and into what has become a very wonderful friendship, one predicated on thoughtful discussion and beer brewing. So I guess circumstances can dictate societal pairings, and in some instances they don’t, but either way we as humans share the fundamental ability to influence other people; for better or for worse. It’s this crazy decision that we make every day, subconsciously or consciously, and because of it the world is literally a better or a worse place.