Thursday, March 12, 2009

If only we could invent a way, if only this were a world when unmet people could say you charm me and I’d like to know who you are. With a code: ‘No thanks,’ if the charm might not be mutual. - Richard Bach

I don’t encounter too many people by whom I am charmed. That is either an indictment on society, or on me.

It seems people are not very connected anymore, or if they ever were they are now not as so. Which is a shame. It seems our default setting is suspicion, or contempt, or cynicism, or anger. We are polite to a point, amicable to a point, connected to a point. Beyond that the claws come out.

We are, by and large, intolerant. We care little for the expressions of others, unless there is some gain for us. We are increasingly aware of the importance of privacy – perhaps, unfortunately, for good reason – and obsessively protective of it. We are increasingly sensitive to the advances of others.

Or has it always been that way?

Perhaps in the “good old days” we were just as sensitive, but more adept at suppressing it because of social conventions no longer in play.

People wear their hearts on their sleeves less now. While honesty used to be the theatre of the discreet, it is now the hostage of the politically correct.

Apparently even in the 70s when Bach wrote A Bridge Across Forever, a confession of charm was not a simple thing. Even now it can be translated a myriad of ways.

I like that skirt.
You have a lovely smile.
Your perfume smells wonderful.
I think you’re beautiful.
I love you.

I think we should be afforded five minutes of confession - isn’t it good for the soul? - at random times during the day. Five minutes of honesty without agenda, and without consequence. An opportunity to bear your soul without fear of rejection and without damaging your future interactions.

I’d love that.

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