Universal Truth: An Interview

September 9, 2018

Another Sunday Story, in an interview format.

 

 

Me:

Can you start by telling us something about your childhood that’s sad?

 

Person:

Hmmm.  What’s sad about my childhood?  I guess it's that I was always afraid.

 

Me:

Afraid?  How?

 

Person:

Things were really uncertain. 

 

Me:

Like what?

 

Person:

For starters, money was uncertain.  And money doesn’t have to make you afraid, but if it makes the adults around you afraid then . . . it makes you afraid too.

 

Me:

So how did adults show this, their fear about money?

 

Person:

They yelled about it all the time, at each other and at us.  It was always a thing. Always. And I think that when something is always a thing, then you are afraid of it.  And that’s what they taught me.  To be afraid of it. 

 

Me:

(Quiet.  Because I learned the same thing.)

 

Me:

So we could spend the entire time on just this because there is so much more to say, but I’ll go on.  Really, it’s all connected anyway.

 

(She nods and tells me that’s true and my heart hurts for both of us because it takes a long time to undo these wounds.)

 

Me:

What do you want that you don’t yet have?

 

Person:

Hmmmmm.  Things or feelings or what?

 

Me:

It’s up to you.

 

Person:

I don’t have a lot of peace.

 

Me:

Can you say more about that?

 

Person:

I don’t often feel content.  I don’t feel like I will be okay no matter what.  

 

Me:

Are you trying to achieve more peace or are you just resigned to not having it?

 

Person:

(Laughing.)  Well, I’m not sure.  It feels like I’m trying.

 

Me:

What do you do?

 

Person:

Oh shit. 

 

(We both laugh.)

 

Person:

I’m not sure if I really do anything to be honest, other than wish.  

 

Me:

Tell me more about that.

 

Person:

Maybe it goes back to the money thing, and probably other fears I was taught to have too, ones that were modeled for me in my family.  I feel like I’m just wired for worry you know?

 

Me:

Oh yes.  I do know.  But I know you can undo wiring too.  

 

Person:

I know that too. I just haven’t done the work because it seems so hard.

 

(We pause.)

 

Person:

It’s pretty fucking hard to have so little peace too though isn’t it?

 

Me:

It is. But that’s a kind of hard you have experience with, so in a way it’s…..maybe comfortable.

 

Person:

I probably need to get uncomfortable don’t I?

 

Me:

I think you do.  We all do.

 

Person:

(Deep sigh.) Life is so short.  Why do we spend so much time on shit that doesn’t matter?

 

Me:

Because from a very young age we get wrapped up in it and it is really hard to untangle.  

 

Person:

So we have to do better for our kids don’t we?

 

Me:

We do.

 

Person:

Okay what else?

 

Me:

Okay right, let’s move on. We could stay here on this money and fear and peace thing the whole time, but the point of this is to hit a lot of deep ideas and not stay too long right now with any one of them.  I hoped maybe readers would do that for themselves, later, when this is over; stay a while.  So I am going to move on. 

 

Person:

I totally get it.

 

Me:

So, what is something you would love to be doing, but you’re not?

 

Person.

Traveling.

 

Me:

Why aren’t you?

 

Person:

Oh you know.  Because I don’t have enough money?

 

(We both laugh.)

 

Me:

Where would you go first?

 

Person:

You know, I’m not even sure.  I need to think about that.  I just know I want to see more places.  

 

Me:

I think that helps with peace too.  It helps you know that we are so small and maybe we don’t need to make some of our shit so big.

 

Person:

Oh I love that.  Thank you.

 

Me:

What else would you love to be doing, but you’re not?

 

Person:

I think I should volunteer more.

 

Me:

Should?

 

Person:

Well, I want to.  And yes, I also think I just should.  I think we have an obligation to serve others. 

 

Me:

I agree.

 

Person:

Especially now right.  We are in some times aren’t we?  

 

Me:

We are.  I can hardly even speak of it. 

 

Person:

I know.

 

(We are both quiet with the heaviness of these times we are in.)

 

Me:

What are you proud of?

 

Person:

Oh geeze.  Hmmm. I don’t know. 

 

(Quiet.)

 

Person:

How about a different question!

 

(Laughter.)

 

Me:

Nah. This is a good one.

 

Person:

(Sigh.)  I guess I’m proud that I’m nice to people, that I am basically a good person.  I mean I can’t fucking stand Trump or his supporters and I say it, but otherwise I am nice.

 

(We both laugh because we are the same in this way.)

 

Person:

I mean I live my life in a way that I am pretty sure doesn't harm anyone else, doesn’t try to take anything from them.  I want everyone to have enough.  I really do. 

 

Me:

Don’t you think everyone thinks he/she is a good person though?  I don’t know if there is anyone who would say, “I’m a bad person.  I’m not nice to people.”

 

Person:

That is probably very true. But there are people who SHOULD say that and we know it. 

 

Me:

Right, but who are WE to decide?

 

Person:

Well I remember you said something once and I didn’t really get it then but I do now.  I get it now that we live in this time.

 

Me:

What’s that?

 

Person:

I can’t remember exactly but it’s like some things are just not up for opinion.  Some things are simply not debatable.  

 

Me:

I do believe that but I don’t remember saying it to you.

 

Person:

Well you did.  You called them something.  What was that?  And I believe it. And I believe when you know these, you are a better person. A good person.  What was that?

 

Me:

(I pause because people tell me this isn’t a thing and so I don’t know if I should repeat it, but then I do.  Because I believe it IS a thing.)

 

Me:

Universal truths.  I believe in universal truths.

 

Person:

That’s it. Universal truths.  Truths…..of the universe.

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