I never know if the message I take away from a book or movie or whatever else is because of what’s going on in my life at the time or if it’s just one of the messages I happen to pick up during this read (or watch) through. Whichever it is, lately I’ve been seeing a recurring theme in everything I come in contact with. This could be due in part to the fact that for one reason or another I’ve been reading a lot of Young Adult books (with the exception of some Fitzgerald) and am really into The Virgin Suicides movie again. The best way I can think to sum up this message that’s been coming at me from every angle is a quote that I came across while reading.
What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person.
(I’m serious. I think my last fortune cookie even hinted at this. Kidding. I think it said something about how “your athletic ability will help you meet your future goals.” I don’t even think people with athletic ability eat Chinese food to be completely honest. I think they only eat really healthy stuff, like salads. I don’t know though, someone get back to me on that please.)
Actually the entire novel that this quote is from (Paper Towns by John Green) was more or less about seeing people as being just that — people. There are times when I see a person and before I even actually get to know them I’ve already put them on a pedastel. Which isn’t fair for a number of reasons. For starters, it’s not fair to anyone to set such high expectations for a person. No one is ever going to meet them and more than one person will more than likely be dissapointed by the outcome when they don’t deliver.
In a lot of the books and movies I’ve been reading and watching I’ve noticed characters becoming frustrated with another character because they turned out not to be the person that they thought they were. They were cracked and broken just like everyone else.
There are also different versions of a person that varies among people. I don’t mean as in you acting different around one person that you do around another person. I’m talking about the honest to goodness version of yourself that people see and who you are to each person. For example, I know for a fact that some people view me as a cold-hearted bitch who is the worst person to ever walk the earth and a life ruiner, etc. etc. (ex boyfriends mostly). But… I know (or hope) that there are others out there who see something different than that when they look at me. To my siblings I’m their big sister who would start a World War over them (and believe me, I’ve tried). And one day (again I’m hoping) I’m sure someone will think I’m the most wonderful and greatest person to ever walk the earth and will want to spend the rest of their lives pretending to laugh at my jokes. The point is… every person is simply that, a person.
In The Virgin Suicides, all the boys in the town are mystified by these beautiful sisters who’s conservative parents rarely let out of the house. They think of them as being more than what they are because of the fantasy they come up with in their head. Because they are beautiful and mysterious they see them as invincible. I won’t tell you the spoiler, although I think the title kind of give it away, but… in the end that’s all they simply are. Girls. Who feel and think and are not immune or invincible.
When you place someone on a pedestal, you make them into being more than who they actually are and then are confused when they shatter all illusions we had of them before. Sometimes they can surprise you in a nice way, but other times it’s more like a rude awakening. Either way, it’s best to just try to remember that people are just people. Everyone is going to screw up at some point or act out of character or seem a little strange regardless of how perfect or wonderful you believe them to be. If they don’t, they’re more than likely a robot, or satan or something. But thinking of someone as being more than a person? Well that’s just treacherous.