Monday, January 18, 2010


I realize that I am quite the nosy person. I've tried to find other words for it—inquisitive worked for awhile—but when it comes down to it, I think nosy is probably the most accurate. I really do just like to know other people's business, but I don't have any malicious or meddlesome intent. Generally, I think I simply like to know things for the sake of knowing them. I'm a motivated lifelong learner, and what could possibly be a more fascinating subject to explore than the many motivations, fears, beliefs, obsessions, family histories, friendships, and experiences that shape people?

Mark Twain once said, "There was never yet such a thing as an uninteresting life. Such a thing is an impossibility. Inside of the dullest exterior is a drama, a comedy, and a tragedy." I have found this to be largely true. One of the most telling parts about human pride is that we assume that our complex inner lives are totally unique and that how we view the world is the way the world is. In one sense, that is true. We are incredibly unique and the way we view the world is probably the most important to how we live our individual lives. Therefore, what could possibly be more interesting in life than to look at how other people view the world?

The Internet, of course, gives us even more room to be nosy. It turns us into miniature journalists, except we don't have to go through the difficult steps of actually meeting and interviewing people to learn all about them most of the time. We can see a blog or a profile on Facebook and MySpace and immediately presume to know a person's complexities. It's silly, of course. This blog doesn't reveal all that I am. But it's a good place to start, and I know that people who have met me through here have gotten to know a lot of my story. One could say they were nosy, but then again, I was putting myself out there to have my story heard about.

I guess the sad thing is that you really can't know everyone. There is always going to be that one fascinating, beautiful person who you only saw at a party once, or who is a friend of a friend of a friend. You'll only want to sit down and talk with them and hear all about their story, but alas, your paths simply won't cross in this lifetime. There's an overwhelming sense of loss and wonder there, like when I walk into a library and see all the wonderful books that I simply will never have a chance to read. Or when I think about all the places in the world that I will not have the time to see.

So of course I need to learn how to hold back this desire to know everybody. It's not really polite to go up to people and ask personal questions as soon as you meet them, but of course I'm just that kind of guy. I'm not a journalist (yet!) so I can't just go up to people and ask questions. I guess I'll just have to be content getting to know the fascinating and interesting people that God has put in my life, and writing fiction around the glimpses of others that I see. After all, taking notes about people and writing fiction about them is what all good authors do, right? I know this post has been rambling, but hey, that has always been the case. Goodnight, everybody!

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