Today’s word is ‘invulnerable’ – indestructible, bulletproof.
We are not them, but we know them and honor them. The ones who we look up to because of their strength, beauty of form, purpose of walk, and gracefulness of figure – the invulnerable ones.
We spend a lifetime longing to be like them. Their world seems so distant from ours. We look for them in the square or on the street. We examine them, discuss them, and informally research the deeper intimacies of their lives. We can’t help it. We are so fascinated by their perfection of character and body. But most of all we attempt to study their exterior and interior until we can perform a flawless mimicry that will allow us to mingle with them without discovery.
Most days, we feel so outdistanced, so aware of the mismatch of our character that they seem like deities. We worship these gods of polish that keep us hopeful that in mimicking their approach, it will only take a bit more time for us to be singled out and viewed with that same generous admiration.
They are the tribe we pay homage to because of their strong presence. They keep hope alive. Hope that we will eventually be ‘good enough’ to meld seamlessly into their world. But what we fail to realize is that when our negatives of vulnerability change polarization, we will become duplicates. And unfortunately, duplicates have no reason to admire each other. It is only differences that allow a competition for greater dominance and importance.
So why do we seek to clone ourselves? Thinking ahead, would give us the realization, that with replication, we will no longer look up to them. In truth, we should pay homage to our vulnerability rather than to them. After all, it is the extent of our vulnerability, within our daily reality, that separates the perceived power of one subset from the genuine longing of the other. Power, as a perception, has no place to go. It is a purposeless plateau. But longing, ah yes, longing holds a peculiar magic. The magic of longing is that it makes every stage of life, from infancy to conclusion, a purposeful race.
Always in the back of the newspaper, is the roll call of those I expected the see. The weak, oh so weary, guileless, fragile, and unassembled gossamer wisps of humanity. A reminder of the world as Darwin saw it with a validation of survival of the fittest, through the demise of the weakest.
But no more. Last week’s obit had a shocking and saddening list of names of the invulnerable. And that’s when I realized that without practice, mimicking or intent, the duplication had happened.