The Scott Shaw Blog Be Positive

Sitting on the Sidewalk with a Smile on Their Face

I think every community has those outliers of people. Those ones who are a little different. Those people that appear to be a little strange. I know mine does.

Where I live there are a lot of people of Asian and Middle Eastern descent. Due to this fact, these are the kind of people I see and interact with all the time. As such and because of, these are also some of the people that I witness walking that fine line of living in some abstract reality.

I mean, there is this white guy, with long hair. He always dresses in black leather pants and a long storm trooper coat and one of those leather hats. He wears this outfit no matter how hot it is outside. Every now and then I see him waiting for the bus with a cigar in his mouth. He’s obviously lost in some heavy mental fantasy. But, he ain’t hurtin’ no one so I say, “Rock on!”

There’s this other man… He’s of Korean descent. I’m not quite sure of his story but he appears to be very normal—a least via his outward appearance. His clothes are always clean and his hair is combed. I see him walking around the neighborhood sometimes. Whenever he needs a smoke, he just crouches down and lights one up. Crouching there, in that position so commonly seen in Korea. My knees are so shot from my years in the martial arts that I could never sit there like that for more than a second or two. But, there he crouches, smoking his smoke as the cars pass by.

He walked in front of me in the self-serve checkout line at the supermarket once. They had just changed the store around. He was saying, “Water, water?” I guess he used to know where to get it but since the change-up he was lost. The store clerk tried to help him but to no avail. He just kept saying, “Water, water? I don’t know what eventually happened. But, he did not understand the instruction.

There’s also this other Asian guy who roams my neighborhood. He is way more disheveled. He looks homeless but he obviously is not. This guy commonly whips out his dick. Sometimes I’ll be driving by and there he will be playing with his tool. A couple weeks back I went to the gas station. There he was staring at a lady who was filling up. Out runs the owner of the station, “Get out of here! Get out of here!” I mean he was really yelling. I guess he was trying to protect his customers. He didn’t want the guy to pull out his johnson.

You know, there are a lot of people who walk a fine line of difference and exist in society. I mean, it wasn’t that many years ago when people like I, who choose to grow their hair long, were total ostracized and thought to be of some mental defect. It’s hard to imagine that today but I lived through it. People would yell stuff at us as we walked down the street. …We wouldn’t be served in restaurants. From this, we came to refer to ourselves as, “Freaks.” It was a means to turn things around on the ones who were trying to define us as something wrong. But, were we? Or, were we simply different? …Seeking a different definition of life and society and expressing it via our hair and our clothing.

Today, I saw this Asian lady sitting in the middle of the sidewalk. She had a bag from a local drug store in front of her and she was playing around with the stuff that was inside of it. She had this big smile on her face. I believe she was Korean. Was there anything wrong with this behavior—sitting there in the middle of the sidewalk? No. She wasn’t bothering anyone and she seemed very happy doing what she was doing.

You know, some would say that I would not be the person I am today without the influence of Korean culture—via the martial arts, my marriage, my extended family, etc. And, they would be right. From that interaction, (and others), I have come to appreciate the fact that some people, especially those who are newly arrived into a new country, simply approach life in a manner that is somewhat different from the norm. They’re not bad. What they are doing is not wrong. It is simply different. They are just doing what they have learned how to do in the way they have learned how to do it.

I think this is something that we all really need to think about. …Something that we all really need to take into consideration. People do things differently. Some people step beyond the realms of the norm but that, in and of itself, does not make them bad. They are just different.

Just like in the ‘60s and the early ‘70s, for those of us with long hair, there were those people that wanted to cast judgement onto others no matter what. But, in doing so, they were illustrating their own limited level of human perception. They just wanted everyone to be they way they wanted them to be. They just wanted everyone to live their life the way they lived their own life. But, we’re all different. We all have our own upbringings. We all have our own understandings. And, as long as what someone else is doing hurts no one else, why can’t they be allowed to live what they live the way they want to live it without the harsh judgement of others?

So, next time you are about to cast your judgment onto someone, think about this… Ask yourself the question, “What makes what I think and the way I do things right and what makes what someone else thinks and is doing wrong?” Perhaps you will have a realization and realize that everyone should be allowed to be who and what they choose to make themselves to be.

As for the lady sitting there smiling while she played with the contents of her bag, good for her! A smile always makes everyone it encounters happier.

Next time you are thinking about judging someone, why don’t you smile instead. That smile may make everyone’s everything just a little bit better.