As I was walking down the street to drop off some papers at an office that is just off the campus where I work, I saw a fellow sitting next to a curb that had a busy street on one side of it and a church on the other side. I immediately classified the man as one the mentally ill people who wander the town during the day and I don’t know what they do at night. There was a divide in the concrete path I walked on, with one option taking me right next to the man and the other providing about three arms’ length of distance between us. I chose the path Jesus wouldn’t have taken.
As I got almost even with him, he said in an angry voice, “I gotta a phone inside my head, ok?” Then he continued a conversation with the unseen ones. I first thought, “Damn, that is a great song lyric. If I followed him around I could probably write a really creative song.” Apparently the act of plagiarism doesn’t bother me, but that is pretty common, I think, for singer-songwriters.
As I continued on my journey, I quickly realized that I could say the exact same thing, “I gotta a phone inside my head.” All sorts of imaginary conversations and scenarios keep interrupting my present moment. I make such a big deal out of little things. So many of those little things are about dealing with change. And, when I say little, I mean little, especially compared to the 13.5 billion years our universe has existed- or so they say. Or, compared to 2.5 million years of “human” existence on our planet. Or, even the fact that I share a lot of DNA with a chimpanzee. Now that is real change.
On the way back from my errand, I took the closer path to the gentleman that I have so much in common with and I looked him in the eyes and I said, “Good morning, sir.” He looked me in the eyes and said, “Well hello.” As I continued past him, I heard him start yelling again at the unseen ones … and I understood.