Seeing the best in life's challenges

Being REAL

on May 9, 2013

I just want to hug Charles Ramsey.  And it has nothing to do with what he did for those girls.  It has everything to do with who he is and what he is:  REAL.

Charles didn’t do anything out of the ordinary – he just happened to be dealing with a really extraordinary situation.  And deal with it he did, in a way that we aren’t used to seeing.

We are not used to seeing “real” on TV, especially.  Most everything we see on TV or video is already thought-out, polished, acted out.  And even if the person being interviewed is being real, the presentation is packaged in a way that gives the story a spin.  News people and anchors and actors each have their “persona” that has been created based on what they are supposed to look like, how they are supposed to act, in so many ways that our view of the world has become more skewed than we can imagine.

Then Charles Ramsey comes along, and gives the perfect example of a human being just being himself.  No overinflated ego.  No check on his language to make it “appropriate.”  No hidden agenda or motive.  No getting caught up in the drama.  His emotions are real, he is stunned by what has happened, but he is not even tempted to sensationalize it.  As George Stephanopoulos gets almost a little giddy about the fact that this has gone viral, Charles responds, “there is no feeling.  You do what you gotta do.”

Those of us who have had the supposed “advantages” of things such as wealth, and education, and homeownership, and maybe business and social connections, and orthodontics and maybe plastic surgery…..  The list goes on and on, of the superficial things that we think of as the trappings of success.  And guess what?  NONE of these things determine your character.

We should not be one little bit surprised that a guy like Charles Ramsey would do what he did.  What he did was normal, what any regular person would do.  Yet, how many people have placed such a high priority on protecting themselves, that they hesitate to “get involved” in a situation?

The world is full of people just like Charles, because every single one of us is just like him.  It’s just that many people have incorporated layers of gunk on top of their basic nature.  They have bought into the idea that they have to be someone else, someone who wants to be famous, someone that wants to be rich, someone that needs to fill someone else’s expectations.

We are taught to tell people what they want to hear, or respond in certain expected ways.   We are used to putting a spin on everything we say.  During his 911 call, the police officer obviously gets annoyed with the way Charles is talking.  It’s an indication of how we culturally associate credibility with the use of certain ways of speaking.  But when you listen, it is obvious that Charles is the one being factual, helpful and empathetic.  The officer comes off as “a moron.”

We become so attached to this plastic ideal of who we should be we don’t realize what we are doing.  We think we have to compete to be good enough or to be the best.  That mindset leads people to put others down to lift themselves up.  And we judge people based on their appearance, their race, where they live, what job they have, etc.

That competitive mindset is already rearing its ugly head, with people bringing up “dirt” from Charles Ramsey’s past.  They point out his mistakes, in order to feel superior.  It’s another version of the Perpetrator-Victim-Rescuer game.  The only thing more fun than playing this game, is arguing about which character is playing which role in the game.  It’s never-ending drama, which is fine, if that’s what you’re into.  Go for it.

We confuse a person’s character with the superficial trappings of “success” and we try to control others by pointing out their weaknesses and telling them they are not good enough.  Having character does not mean always doing everything “right,” it means being authentic and doing the best you can in each moment.  We put down entire groups of people, and they are usually groups like immigrants, poor people, people of a different religious affiliation, stupid people, people that don’t “get it”, etc.  Why??

If you look inside, and ignore all those external expectations, it will become very clear who and what you are.  You can just be you.  And you will know, just like Charles, that you aren’t doing anything unusual.

Charles is perfect just the way he is.  And so are you and me.

The media wants to celebrate Charles as a hero.  Instead, let’s celebrate him because he’s REAL.


3 responses to “Being REAL

  1. starlight says:

    ‘We confuse a person’s character with the superficial trappings of “success” and we try to control others by pointing out their weaknesses and telling them they are not good enough.’ – I’ve always wondered about this, I was discussing this with someone – we were trying to work out why certain groups of people can only communicate via criticism or put down comments!

    So the purpose is to control them? I suppose if you make someone feel bad…it’s like temporarily feeling power over them, like they are in a ‘worse’ situation than you so you’re alright?

    I’ve often thought about these things mentioned in the article, how ultimately – judgement is going to be about superficial things at best – the stuff on the ‘outside’ of our real nature.

    It’s like a whole bunch of ‘true parts of god’ are surrounded by masks and created persona’s, and are judging each other by ONLY these outside images! What an odd situation? How strange is a human?

    • jlcmom says:

      once you start realizing this stuff, a lot of things start to seem very strange indeed!!!

      • starlight says:

        Well, I’ll at least say that everything I’ve read on your blog …just feels extremely clear and makes perfect sense! It’s the old world which is filled with madness. I’ve noticed after hanging around on some of these blogs that a lot of other ‘previously normal’ information about various topics seems uninteresting to me, or unimportant! It’s odd…the times sure are changing.

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