Why are we so often surprised when acquaintances prove to be more than we envisioned they could be? When I told a marginal acquaintance today that I was excited to have a third grader in the fall, she looked more shocked than I had seen anyone be lately. Apparently to her I was the sum of what she had seen and heard from me, which accounted to probably about an hour of time spent together in the break room over the course of a year. Yes, a whole year we had worked together and she was surprised to know that I was a father.
That happens more and more lately, even in this informational transparency age. After all, what do we see on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest anyway? We see what the individuals want us to see, which is most often only 1/3rd of who we really are.
1/3rd of me means that when I’m upset over the Eagles losing I can get a temper, almost like I lost myself. If you encounter me during this small period of time (say ten minutes following an Eagles loss) you might think I’m a pissy wanker (to steal a phrase from my British friends).
1/3rd of me means when I’m having a bad day I get quiet, so if the only time you see me is during those days you might always think I’m a quiet person. Which couldn’t be further from the truth, as it stands.
1/3rd of me means if we are tangential friends who only talk about things we have in common, you’ll never know what else I’m interested in because whenever I’m around you we only discuss those specific things. Too many people seem to fall into this shallow category anymore.
1/3rd of me means if we only talk through text or on Facebook you don’t get the inflections in my speech patterns, to catch the sarcasm when I’m being tongue-in-cheek, or to interpret my smiley faces, which depending on my mood can mean so many different things.
And while you’re only seeing 1/3rd of me, I am also seeing 1/3rd of you. I don’t think many of us could handle having more of us seen by more people. We reserve the 2/3rds of ourselves for our family and close circle of friends. So if you know more than 1/3rd of me that means something, that you’re special to me and rate that opening up. Even on here, when I’m putting these honest words down for the world to see, I’m not giving you much more than 1/3rd of me. It’s just how we’re wired as human beings.
If you were to go way back to the start of the world, even Adam only gave Eve 1/3rd of himself, and she wanted more. She knew he wasn’t giving her everything, which led to her downfall, and eventually to his as well. Instead of dooming ourselves (and the human race) In time we can break down those barriers, but it takes a joint effort, and a combined will of each person, that give and take that inspires more giving and taking.
So if you’re getting more than 1/3rd of me, that means I’m getting more than 1/3rd of you, and that means we’re both worth the effort.