The quiet observer

November 25, 2018
The quiet observer

6am. I’m barely awake as I slowly unfold my yoga mat, take a sip of my orange flavored glass of water and put on my lululemon bra, getting ready for my morning practice. Looking at the window, I see him, or a version of him. That early, and from afar, they all look the same.

Let’s say he’s hard to miss with that fluorescent vest on.

He’s performing the universal move. I can’t help to notice. No matter where they come from, they all look the same when it’s time to.

Look left and right. Get set. Unbuckle. Zip down. Take it out. Let it all go.

The shrug in the shoulders as the release happens. Even from a distance, you can feel the tension leaving the man, his whole body starting to relax. Shake it once, shake it twice, zip back up and you are good to go.

In that moment, does he even think about me? It’s pitch dark, oh so early, and cold. After an abrupt wake up (how can anyone ever get used to waking up at 5?!), a 30-minute drive all by himself before dawn breaks, while the highway is still free of the soon to come traffic of commuters from the shores, he does feel like he’s on his own. Sometimes on top of the world, being awake when everyone is still sleeping, sometimes a bit depressed at the thought of the same old routine on and on every morning, but for sure in that moment he’s a lone man.

It’s without thinking twice that he delivers whatever’s left in his bladder he couldn’t get out before his ride to work. Because who cares? No one’s watching.

I am.

But he’s right. I don’t care.

Still. The reason why he shouldn’t be unloading it all next to his car or the promoter cabin has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with human dignity.

Because it is in the absence of a witness that we get to show up. The things we do when we think no one’s watching. Those are the things that reveal who you are. When there is only you and God to judge, and since you are God there is only really you. Those things reveal your true character.

Are you showing up even when no one is there to acknowledge you are? In your home, when you are all by yourself, are you standing out as the human you want to be, commending this precious life at every moment?

In the morning, are you making your bed to honor the rest you had the chance to enjoy the night before, celebrating the magnificent day to come with a closure from that exploration of your psyche in your dreams?

Are you dressing up to work even when it’s from home, to appreciate the chance you have of being able to offer your gifts and knowledge to contribute to something bigger than you?

Three times a day, even when you’re alone, are you taking the time to set the table, honoring the chance you have to be able to feed yourself often without even having to think about it, blessing the thousands of people who participated in the collective effort to bring you that cup of jo?

It’s in those small, apparently meaningless moments that you get to elevate yourself the most. As those are what forms most of our days, their cumulative effect is impressive.

The more you practice when you believe it doesn’t really count, the more you become who you want to be when it’s game on.

So please, for human dignity sake, be a man, and stop peeing in my front yard at 6am.

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