Shallow versus Deep

“Believe not that the stream is shallow because its surface is smooth.”
– Latin proverb

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via Daily Prompt: Shallow

I love the water and to swim, even though I just learned to swim 5 years ago. Nowadays I can tolerate deep waters, the kind that it’s so deep that you can’t even grasp how far it goes into the earth, but for a long time it gave me a real but irrational fear and sometimes even vertigo. Probably the fear came from the unknown, of not knowing what lay in the darkness. Maybe now I’m not so afraid not because I’m now brave, but because I realized that danger can hide in plain sight. The water can be transparent, but it can held a bacteria that makes your groin skin fall out.

This got me thinking how this can also apply to people, but in reverse. Usually shallow people are judged by the so called intellectuals. People with more cultural and erudite interests tend to perceive people that listen to bad music, take a lot of selfies, and like bad action movies as individuals with lack of depth of thought. I myself have been guilty of judging others because of their “simple” tastes and light way of facing life, opposing to the brooding cool way that it’s very handy to give us material to write, compose or paint.

However, I took a look at myself and noticed that I also like to listen to some crappy music, I probably watched all the romance comedies of the 90’s and early 00’s, and I take a LOT of selfies. So, judging others for their shallowness was not only wrong but also very hypocritical of me. I also started noticing that since I judged, I didn’t give people the chance to show more depth, and many times they do have it. They have fears, they love others with all their hearts, they have kindness in them, it’s just that sometimes they make very difficult to find that when they keep yacking about the new manicure technique that they tried (which I’m also guilty of doing).

That being said, I’m not naive to thinking that everyone is good. There are some really insufferable people. However I believe that maybe shallowness comes in two packages. There are the “simple minded” that judge others based on their looks and possessions, and the others that judge others based on their apparent lack of inner depth. Again, I’m guilty of both, due to bad character, or social and cultural constructed prejudices, and when I find myself going down that path I try to take a step back. Sometimes I’m successful in finding some empathy, sometimes I don’t.

Shallow waters and shallow people, deep waters and deep people, the important is that both water and people are not toxic, and if they are, like Britney said “you should wear a warning”.

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