I saw a movie the other day 2012, just as I’ve seen other movies dozens of times before. I don’t get nightmares and I don’t live in fear and I almost never think about the possible reality of it. But some how in its visual effects a simple yet impacting question came to mind almost weeks after the fact.
I was driving home on the typical Sunnyside Straight away when I was stopped at a traffic light. And in that moment that my car and mind were idling, I imagined the ground just opened up in front of me. You know, the kind that is seen in almost any end of the world movie, when the world is ending and earthquakes are tearing the landscape apart and revealing GIANT gaping holes down into molten lava at a tectonic level? Okay did I mention I REALLY like the visuals in 2012. 🙂
As I was sitting at the traffic light waiting for it to turn green, I imagined this earth tearing event, taking place on this street in front of me. And my intellectual always wondering mind asked: “So would you do if the earth just opened up before you? What if this movie became a real life situation you had to deal with? Would you be one of those people to survive this CRISIS of catastrophic proportions or would I be one of the dying peoples?” OH YEAH I would definitely be one of the dying peoples but after careful consideration – I’m okay with that.
Now don’t get me wrong I’m just as American and John Wayne (I mean Wonder Woman – Linda Carter was my hero) as the next person. I want to believe I can over come the odds of any situation and be THE ONE person who can defeat, survive, and be victorious in the face of conflict and tragedy… but this is my brain asking and it knows when I’m lying. Or at least the realism committee meets to discuss the finer points of my Probability of survival: my physical inability, lack of good luck, no real connections outside my area, and the fact I’m driving a 4-door economy car that just wouldn’t make the jump over a slightly steep speed bump let alone breaking apart pavement. The Decision is in… OH YEAH definitely dying.
But that’s not all bad, I mean not everybody gets to survive disasters like this and with my faith I’m confident about my after life agenda. But my brain wasn’t done. There were more questions it wanted to ask, and had I known this was the line of thinking it was going to head down I would have said “SHUT UP!!!” WAAAAAAY sooner.
So What’s next? Where would I go? Where would I be safe, where are my supplies (no I do not have a stash in my trunk – I used up all my 2001 rations YEARS ago – but there might still be some jerky), where would I seek refuge if I were by some MIRACLE to survive the earth opening up before me? I thought about my family (1 brother, 1 sister, 1 dad) all spread out geographically so I wouldn’t need to go help them – besides cell phone service would be out I’m sure – and we are all very (I think the Politically Correct word is) Independent of each other. My friends are gonna go toward their families either family of origin or spouse and kids.
So WHERE would I go? I honestly genuinely drew a GIANT blank. I guess I would just try to get to my home/house/residence (safety I guess) or some shelter or something. Man I guess I should get some more bottles of water and jerky, dried fruit, canned good, can opener – sorry I got distracted. Ah well okay no biggie, not very heroic, humanitarian, or courageous, but I guess that’s what I would do. Insert really boring shoulder shrug here.
But my brain wasn’t done yet. If it wasn’t bad enough that I didn’t feel very worthy of being a card carrying American who is destined to save the world, my brain decided to ask one last most poignant and impacting question: “So who would be looking for me? Who in my life would see my safety and well-being as a priority? Who could I say honestly in a truly drastic of Biblical proportions crisis would be seeking to ensure my safety, my survival, my well-being?”
The calm, clear, quiet answer: no one.
As I heard those words enter my mind it was like it had been stated in a dark, empty, hollow, cold room with nothing to soften the words so they echoed into the darkness. When my brain arrived at a place-I don’t think I have ever REALLY imagined in quite such a dramatic way-it was not only the truth because I felt no argument in me, but there were the facts to back it up as I have laid out all the facts as stated above. How is it that simple thoughts can bring such an image into a feeling that affects every fiber of your being?
It was in that place of realization that NO ONE would be checking on me, reaching out to me, trying to find me, calling me, trying to save me because I was no one’s priority. I am level 3 – 4 at best to a couple of people, MAYBE. Which in regular life is fine because I have gotten pretty good at doing this life on the solo track. Yes I have friends, yes I have a church family, yes I have people who care about my well-being. But when push comes to shove and something needs doing – it’s mostly up to me.
But in this situation, my brain was so kind to construct this horrific amount of emptiness and despair in the truth. No where in my life (recently) had I come to such a stark realization about my life, that I almost had to pull over because the tears didn’t just dribble down my cheeks, they flooded out my eyes. This outpouring only served as an expression of the gut wrenching pain I was feeling in every joint and muscle of my body, again amazing how one thought of image can generate such a deep physical reaction.
The ripple effect of this series of thoughts, seemed to permeate THE LIST concept with one simple solitary idea. I want some one who will see me as a priority. Some one who would above all else want me to be safe, secure, and rescued in such a catastrophic disaster. Some one I would matter to so much that they would attempt to risk life and limb to find me. Is that such a strange thing to want?
In some of my discussions with people the words of chivalry, date etiquette, and commitment have surfaced. What men should do for women or how a man should express himself or even what qualities a woman SHOULD look for. But more than some of these things, I find myself wanting that person to make me a priority in their life. Not above God and country, kids, self fulfillment, and their personal achievements, BUT a priority in such a way that I know I am not the last thought, the last idea, or the last consideration in daily life.
Because seeing myself elevated in priority over the other things in life will communicate to me that I matter to that person. I truly believe that if one person makes another person a PRIORITY in their life, some of those chivalry, date etiquette, do’s and don’ts will just flow out naturally because their heart and mind is really about caring for the other person.
So it’s not that I need to be rescued, protected, treated like a princess, pampered, and adored (although respected would be nice)… but to see the actions, choices, words, thoughts, and behaviors that demonstrate I am a precious, personal, important PRIORITY to that person… is indeed priceless.