GREY MUTTER ‘They’ are too different
WHEN you grow up with an older sibling, you learn to share – you have no choice. Sharing would take the form of our uncle bringing a batch of comics for my brother and I, and then big brother planting himself on the floor with the stack of comics – sometimes 20 or more – on his right-hand side, while I sat on the left, waiting to “share”.
The system was simple, as soon as he’d finish a comic, he’d place it on his left-hand side, and only then was I free to read it.
No, he probably wasn’t a selfish monster, but this was, I suppose, his childlike way of maintaining order; if this behaviour had spilled over to adulthood, THAT would be a concern.
Parents, unlike uncles, are wise old souls; and during the time that it was only my brother and I in the home (before the girl-children invaded) they circumvented the sharing issue by providing gifts in pairs.
One particularly memorable day the folks arrived from the city with two T-shirts; one white, with a blue and red design (my favourite colours), and one brown (yuck) with yellow and khaki trim (bleh).
The best thing about these tops was the fact that they were customised. Mine was monogrammed with an L (for Lance) and his with an M (to me, back then, it was obviously for Monster).
But our misguided parents got it wrong … my monogrammed T-shirt hung on me like a potato sack, while my brother’s top made him look like Jean Claude van Darn!
Big brother and I nodded at each other as we made a silent pact to research nursing homes for our dilly folks.
However, when we learned that the ‘L’ meant that the T-shirt was the large size, and the ‘M’ was medium, things made more sense … unfortunately this meant that I was stuck with wearing the ‘yuck and bleh’ coloured T-shirt until the one I actually wanted magically turned into a hand-me-down.
Growing up like this I realised that there are only two kinds of people on earth – those who love brown, and those who don’t. Wait, let’s reconsider … the two kinds are those who share, and those who hoard.
No, that’s not quite right, it’s those who are structured and those who are spontaneous … or maybe those who eat sushi with chopsticks and those who eat it with a fork.
Come to think of it, it’s probably between the haves and the havenots; or no, here it is … I’m certain this time – the difference is between people who roll their toilet paper over (as it should be) and those monsters who roll it under.
No, wait! I completely forgot those who set a single alarm in the morning, before leaping out of bed to start the day, and those who hit the snooze button eight times before crawling into reality.
This dissection could go on all day!
Sigh, it seems that the longer we look at humans the more the obvious divisions and separations appear.
Yet it could do no harm for us to consider that we are a species, and we had better learn to get along, co-operate and interact, or as Terence White once wrote: “If you keep on dividing, you end up as a collection of monkeys throwing nuts at each other out of separate trees.”
Ultimately wouldn’t it be good if the haves provided relief to the have-nots? If the wise uplifted the simple, or if the strong supported the weak?
We would do well as a species to embrace the fact that there will always be diversity, but there does not always have to be division.