Yesterday I was at the Ministry of Interior within the region of Breña, Lima. It is a maze of complicated processes with individuals running to and fro like massive chickens looking for corn. The 10 story building is a dizzying assortment of weeds, dirt, corn, and stalks that you can easily trip over. Sometimes a crow will pop out and try to scare you along with the typical mid-west Scarecrow sitting somewhere acting as a security officer who will gladly tell you what documents you still need to get your paperwork in order. You have to know how you came into the maze of bureaucratic tunnels or you will somehow get lost in the maze and never find your way out. Horror be to the person that has to spend more than 6 hours in a given day in this place, but once you've found your way out with your paperwork as you wanted it to be, you will say that you had the best day of your life.
Do you know the feeling? Going into the maze, you think, oh please how will I ever accomplish this? However, on the return out of the maze, you celebrate the experience declaring that it was all worth it. Walking out, you hold your documents high with a great smile of victory spread across your face. Others look at you as though you have been in glory all along, while others look on understanding exactly how you feel. In life, we experience these moments repeatedly. I must remember as I am walking into the maze of corn journey, the emotion of what it was like to walk out the last time. In this moment, I will find a peace.
While in the maze journey of our lives, as I was on this day within the beast filled walls of the Ministry of Interior, we have encounters with people. Some look horrified while others look bored and disgusted with the tunnels of turmoil. Some tap their feet on the ground attempting to alleviate the internal boredom of maze running, while others play endless rounds of highly addictive mobile phone games. We all, regardless of race, sex, religion, orientation, gender, or economic situation, find ways to pass time. We all must endure the waiting game. The diversity begins when we discover how each of us will pass the time.
Some will pass the time with productive progress while others will pass the hours with passive regression.
You choose. I choose. How will you pass your time? We all must, and you will choose how. There is no way, that I have found until this point, a method to not pass time.
On my way through passing time in the maze of bureaucratic hurdle jumping, I went to the restroom. While I was washing and drying my hands, I looked at my face in the smudged mirror. I saw pieces of peeling skin coming off of my nose. That was awkward and I realized that it had to come off. The mirror was very small, and there were only two wash basins to wash hands and I was occupying one. There were several people coming and going out of the restroom, and I knew I was taking up space. These pieces of peeling skin had to come off, and so I wiggled closer to the mirror and stretched my neck toward the reflection to see if I could attack the skin. I had been out in Ventanilla with the scorching summer sun that causes anyone to lose skin. As I reached up to pick a few layers off of my long horse like nose, I managed to remove a few flakes.
I could tell that a few behind me wanted to take a shot at the mirror and to wash their hands.
Do you know that feeling of realizing that your time is limited but if you could just get one more?
As I wasted more of my time at the mirror, I heard a voice complaining to me and he quickly exclaimed,
"Yeah, that's fine, you've done just great on your face," the voice stated clearly with a hint or a strong undercurrent of sarcasm. Sarcasm has always been a bit of a painful subject. Its not fun to receive hurtful and sarcastic comments that rip us to shreds. Naturally a hint of sarcasm can be entertaining and at times, manageable. However, at times, the talent of sarcastic delivery can be a slicing edge of pained reactions. The voice from behind me continued,
"you look fine, and you are fine to go, your face looks fine and just please give space," the voice added. I must have not been too pleased with the last comment because out of my mouth, and I am guilty of it, so I accept fault for the shortness of my fuses,
"Please calm down," I shortly commented with precise politeness. As I turned around to face the voice, my complete soul slammed into my conscious. It was one of those crash test dummy video slams where you see the dummy bodies, all in slow motion, slowly smash into the airbags. God loves to teach me about my faults right when I need to experience the slow-motion "ness" of it all. The voice was a gentleman who had visibly been burned across at least 70% of his face and head. Tragic scars and burned scars of flesh stretched across the majority of his face. Not to cause distress to the situation, and certainly not something that I was disgusted by at all, only a surprise of humble recognition. In all complete honesty, I had been frustrated with his comments, and perhaps they were not the most kind comments spoken to me, however, regardless, the frustration or shortness of my attitude slammed me back into my place. God teaches us in the most small increments of wisdom to not bombard us with too much all at once. Only God knows that I could not handle having to change my attitude in a bat of an eye for which I thank Him for patience with me.
Who am I to become so self centered over a few pieces of flaking skin on my nose? It was a reality check of my inner soul, face to face, with another soul of a human being that is walking the journey.
Walking face to face with others along the journey is an incredible opportunity to learn where we need to grow and also to learn where we can share love. This day, in the maze of frustrated repetition, in a smelly and darkened restroom, I learned that the human journey of walking through life can be one of the most wondrous lesson building experiences when walking face to face with others, regardless of where they have been, nor where you have been. It's today and onward that will change the world.
Daniel M. Klopp
Advocate 4 Marginalized individuals & communities globally
Advocate & Journalist
Die Daily to Self
Legacy to leave.