Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Blowing In The Wind

I saw a flag this morning. It was blowing in the wind.
It reminded me of people flapping their lips, unprovoked by anything other than their own need for validation, or maybe for their need to be reminded that they are, in fact, still alive.
Flags are typically prompted by a quiet breeze, a steady wind, or some kind of storm. People, at times, talk just because they’re afraid not to, because they’re uncomfortable with silence. The sound of their own voice somehow mitigates the emptiness, minimizes the discomfort, manages, and moderates the environment for them. I don’t begrudge them that. I only wish, at times, that they would choose their audience a little more carefully, and maybe their subject matter. I’m not a very good audience for incessant blather.

I know, some of you might feel like I do the same thing with my writing, but the difference is that you don’t need to read what I write. Those of you who choose to can shut it down at any time. But, far too often, social protocol requires that one listen to the sound of the flapping, whether it be solo, or part of a group.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about interactive social conversation, or even the exchange of information, I’m talking about people flapping their lips simply because they can, holding everybody else hostage to their indulgence. You know what I’m talking about. We’ve all been in those situations. We’ve even contributed to them.

A flag is content to be still, to not display its colors, or even its capability. It, in a sense, trusts what it is, and speaks only in response to the prodding of the elements. It does not flap to kill time, to trumpet itself, or even to keep its own company.

More flags, and less nervous chatter, would be nice.