A Handbook for Life Center Blog

The PERSONAL EMPOWERMENT series that gets results.

Just Like Me

  • Who is that overweight man that is having trouble getting out of his car and walking into the store?
  • He’s a person just like me who is doing the best he can to get around in a body that he would probably like to change, but can’t.

  • Who is that young girl with tattoos and piercings all over her body walking in the mall?
  • She’s a person just like me who has feelings and is trying to express herself.

  • Who are the man and woman speaking in a strange language, talking to their two young children while in line at the movies?
  • They are loving parents just like me who adore their children and want to spend time with them.

  • Who is the old man at church who smells like moth balls and always talks too loudly?
  • He’s a person just like me who even though he might not have the fanciest clothes to wear is willing to go out and socialize with others.

  • Who is the neighbor that brags about the littlest accomplishment and tries to prove that he is better than everyone else?
  • He’s a person just like me who may really feel inferior and may only get his self-esteem by putting others down.

  • Who is the pregnant 17 year old that is crying on the school bus in the morning?
  • She’s a person just like me who may be struggling with unexpected circumstances in life.

What observations can you add? Feel free to post below.

8 Responses to “Just Like Me”

  1. Marla Emery says:

    Great way to get people thinking about how they can choose to judge others or just be with others. We have so many similarities that connect us; why focus on the things that divide us?

    Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Chuck Barsh says:

    I thought that this post from Michael Nesmith’s Facebook page was appropriate to your blog post, Rich. Mike has been known as a man who has shut out the world for much of the last 40 years. I believe that the death of his old compatriot, Davy Jones, has woken him up and he’s beginning to look at his life in a new and different light. You can learn a lot from a Monkee!

    “The clerk at the check-out counter at Safeway asked if I had any plans for this weekend. I thought about it a second, wondering if this weekend was special – a holiday or something.

    Finally I said, “No. How about you?”

    “Well, I have the weekend off. That’s pretty good.” He smiled.

    I smiled. Quick little connect.

    On the way out to the car I thought about these connections and my plans and what the days ahead look like. How much did I want to share with Safeway guy? How much did he want to share with me?

    In these days of the “town as crier” where we all have a little something to say and a forum to share it in, we are not as private as we once were. We are more obviously connected.

    Many of us hide. Or we don’t know what to say, or how to act when someone says something. We have such a hard time communicating. I know I do. But it is worth the effort. As I open up, I see things returning to me in every direction of thought. This reciprocity is an important part of the artistic process for me. Since I don’t have to “be” alive, then all I have to do is share my life. I am not worried about my privacy being invaded. There isn’t much I can do about that anyway, and for the most part people are respectful. We all have a visible line between society and solitude.

    Here is a quick glance at my calendar and agenda for the next few months – just so you can see.

    I am playing a short set – 4 or 5 songs — with Lambchop at the invitation of Kurt Wagner on May 4th in San Francisco at the Great American Music Hall. And I am in the studio finishing up some tech stuff – building another computer – and writing and recording new music. I have put together a book proposal about MTV the Music Video and my mother’s invention of Liquid Paper. I am reconfiguring the Monkees special we did in ’98, and I connected with John Ware about reforming what is left of the First National Band for a short live tour doing the RCA material.

    Let’s see – that’s pretty much it.

    I live alone with Dale, my dog. I write and play and there are deep currents that run in my life about Life the Universe and Everything. (I miss Douglas every day.)

    I am busy and active, but a little removed from society.

    I am posting this on FB and Google+, my chosen SM voices, because I think it is important to connect, and I like knowing the guy at the Safeway is happy about his weekend off.

    There is the dark furtive element in all of us.

    But there is also the natural shine.

    Standing alone in the presence of something wonderful I am filled with joy and wonder. At that moment I think I know what divine love is – that place where all of us just stand and love something like a sunrise or a forest or an ocean view – the light in the eyes of a child – or a clerk.

    We do not need to gather or consume or objectify this moment. We do not need to respond or comment to complete the moment. The moment is complete of itself, and there is great satisfaction and happiness in that — our own light.

    Selfless.

    Effulgent.

    Connected.

    Or as MBE has it: “Love meeting no response, yet still remaining love.”

    It is why I sing.

    I’ll see you on May 4th in SF if you are around there. Great American Music Hall.

    ITMT, if you get a chance please stop by Videoranch and browse the stuff. http://www.videoranch.com. Nothing new right now, but we are happy to have you visit, and wave.

    And we are happy to know what you would have us know.”

  3. Great post. You could type it up as an 8×11 and frame it so you can sell them to people that are “Just Like Me”

  4. Leslie says:

    The love you take is equal to the love you make.
    –John Lennon

    Love needs no definition. It is about the other, not the self, and yet the self benefits. It is that simple. Love without rules.

  5. We are more alike than we are different! The differences gives us an opportunity to grow and develop. An attempt to use difference to divide us or exclude others is sad. OK, there are stronger words than sad but I’ll just go with a deep sigh and sadness and then apply the platinum rule. I love the platinum rule because it reminds me of a more contemporary ‘rule’ – seek first to understand and then to be understood. So many rules! Which ones should we follow? Think about it through your heart and soul and the answer will be there. Best wishes for all!

  6. Rabbi Judy Schindler says:

    Jewish tradtuion “Who is wise? The one who learns from all people.” (Ben Zoma taught this in Pirkei Avot). Rich your moving piece brings that point home. Thank you.

  7. Judy Hirsch says:

    Rich, I love the way you start the response with “… a person just like me…” It really helps to take “the other” out of the equation. This is why I prefer the platinum rule to the golden rule. Rather than treat others the way I want to be treated, treat others the way THEY want to be treated. I don’t know what it feels like to be 17 and pregnant. I may think I know. But I don’t. Putting ourselves in others’ shoes is hard work. For me, it’s gratifying when I realize I got it right. And when I don’t, it’s another good learning opportunity.

  8. Miriam Pizarro says:

    I think sometimes we are quick to criticize something or someone who does not fall into our little “normal Person” box. Is it because we are uncomfortable with the unknown? Maybe a little bit of ignorance ? Lack of tact? I think politically correct sometimes goes way overboard on certain subjects because people are not comfortable with difference. I am part of a minority, and at times people confuse me when they’re speaking to me because they are trying to be so politically correct that I don’t have a clue what they’re talking about. I think we need to throw out the word NORMAL, we need to realize people of different race or ethnicity, while they may have certain things that are just not done, for the most part are the same as you. They would probably be offended by the same things as you, and you should pattern your responses and actions in a manner that you would feel comfortable. Or to put it as that 2000+ year old saying, “treat others as you would like to be treated”.