Who’s the Stranger?

Do I want to raise my children in a world where people you don’t know are referred to as “strangers”? What a curious term. And somewhat cynical. The implication is that this person is stranger than you and I, or strange to us, or even estranged from us. But, to the vast majority of people out there, you and I are the strangers. We are stranger than the strangers. How strange is that?
When we tell our children to beware of strangers, we instill within them a fear of the unknown.
And once we make them afraid of the unknown, they lose the sense of wonder and creativity and discovery that is at the very core of what life is all about – or at least what makes it meaningful and exciting. The result of the stranger mentality is people who shy away from anything insecure, anything unstable, anything different, anything challenging. Eventually, they not only avoid eccentric situations, they scoff at them. They embrace convention. They lose sight of their own greatness. And what we leave them with is the stale stability of mediocrity, an illusion between two real truths that portends to offer the sheen of both, but provides the substance of neither.
Perhaps most tragically, the stranger mentality instills within us a fear of the other, a fear of each other. People are the most reliable harbingers of instability – so if you’re hooked on the safety of monotone existence, you better keep your distance from them. Then everyone becomes a stranger. Even those who are not – you kind of wish they were so they would keep their distance and stop infecting the sterile sanity of your world with their madness.
Eventually, you start to look at your inner self in the same way, disgusted by its unpredictability, . But no matter what you do, you can never fully reconcile yourself to a reality in which you are a stranger to yourself. Your soul won’t allow it. You can repress it all you want, but every once in a while you’ll look in the mirror and it will freak you out that there’s a stranger lurking somewhere in the shadows within the pupils of your eyes. But, have no fear, you can call the stability inspector who can prescribe you a little pill to put the stranger within back in its place.
If all of this sounds a little extreme to you, then you’re probably too far gone to realize it. But don’t worry. I have the perfect solution. Work at the situation from the inside out. Cease to be a stranger to yourself, and then you will stop seeing people as strangers, stop fearing the unknown, and stop avoiding the crazy trip that life is waiting to take you on. You may even learn to embrace the lunacy of it.
Get to know yourself. You have seven dimensions of emotion within you. Each one contains an aspect of all seven within it. That gives you forty-nine characteristics to examine and get to know. You can find this forty-nine step program in a little book by Simon Jacobson, which is also available online – if you’re willing to take advice from a stranger.
___
Some people have been asking me lately, “Izzy, what the heck are you getting at with your writing?” Maybe I’m not sure. Maybe I’m trying to make a point. Or maybe I’m just trying to find out if anyone actually reads this nonsense besides my wife and my mother. If you do, let me know what you think: exodus@jrcc.org.

Do I want to raise my children in a world where people you don’t know are referred to as “strangers”? What a curious term. And somewhat cynical. The implication is that this person is stranger than you and I, or strange to us, or even estranged from us. But, to the vast majority of people out there, you and I are the strangers. We are stranger than the strangers. How strange is that?
When we tell our children to beware of strangers, we instill within them a fear of the unknown. And once we make them afraid of the unknown, they lose the sense of wonder and creativity and discovery that is at the very core of what life is all about – or at least what makes it meaningful and exciting. The result of the stranger mentality is people who shy away from anything insecure, anything unstable, anything different, anything challenging. Eventually, they not only avoid eccentric situations, they scoff at them. They embrace convention. They lose sight of their own greatness. And what we leave them with is the stale stability of mediocrity, an illusion between two real truths that portends to offer the sheen of both, but provides the substance of neither.
Perhaps most tragically, the stranger mentality instills within us a fear of the other, a fear of each other. People are the most reliable harbingers of instability – so if you’re hooked on the safety of monotone existence, you better keep your distance from them. Then everyone becomes a stranger. Even those who are not – you kind of wish they were so they would keep their distance and stop infecting the sterile sanity of your world with their madness. Eventually, you start to look at your inner self in the same way, disgusted by its unpredictability, . But no matter what you do, you can never fully reconcile yourself to a reality in which you are a stranger to yourself. Your soul won’t allow it. You can repress it all you want, but every once in a while you’ll look in the mirror and it will freak you out that there’s a stranger lurking somewhere in the shadows within the pupils of your eyes. But, have no fear, you can call the stability inspector who can prescribe you a little pill to put the stranger within back in its place.
If all of this sounds a little extreme to you, then you’re probably too far gone to realize it. But don’t worry. I have the perfect solution. Work at the situation from the inside out. Cease to be a stranger to yourself, and then you will stop seeing people as strangers, stop fearing the unknown, and stop avoiding the crazy trip that life is waiting to take you on. You may even learn to embrace the lunacy of it.
Get to know yourself. You have seven dimensions of emotion within you. Each one contains an aspect of all seven within it. That gives you forty-nine characteristics to examine and get to know. You can find this forty-nine step program in a little book by Simon Jacobson, which is also available online – if you’re willing to take advice from a stranger.
___
Some people have been asking me lately, “Izzy, what the heck are you getting at with your writing?” Maybe I’m not sure. Maybe I’m trying to make a point. Or maybe I’m just trying to find out if anyone actually reads this nonsense besides my wife and my mother. If you do, let me know what you think: exodus@jrcc.org.

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