Thoughts by Richard Bleil
Any of my regular readers knows that my mind is, oh, let’s say “different”. Every once in a while, I think about my life as a television series where the people around me are the “actors”.
It’s an interesting perspective of your life. Obviously, you are the star of your series. Then you have your main cast. These are the key people in your life, the important ones. Family, friends, these are the main cast. If you think about a series, there would be no story line without the main cast. Yes, there are some “one person shows” that are periodically attempted on Broadway, but how many big movies can you think of with a cast of one? Even in these rare instances, there are still other main characters, but they don’t make an appearance. They make their appearances in the stories, but they’re there.
Then there’s the supporting cast. In a series, these are the people that are “regulars” on the series. They may or may not carry through all of the seasons, but they are important for a long period of time, whether their role is good, bad or indifferent. Yes, some people in our lives bring wonderful things, love, fun, activities, and they make the series of our lives brighter. Some bring darkness. Bad bosses, conniving coworkers, the abusive spouses of our friends, but like it or not, they’re part of the story line. They provide the contrast, the tension that is in every story line ever written. There must be Yin for every Yang, up for every down, light wherever there is dark. Some of these people will eventually become more important in our series, and some will simply leave for one reason of another.
The supporting cast have different levels of impact on the story line. Some are just comic relief, maybe only showing up rarely, and some are far more heavily involved. When I lived out west, I still recall one young woman that is probably one of my favorite supporting cast members. A young woman who used to right up my groceries, she had no real impact in my life, but she was always very sweet, and in the few minutes it took to ring up my groceries, she was like a little ray of sunshine. I always looked forward to seeing her, and we’d share just a few small updates in our lives. For example, she mentioned that she was going to get her tongue pierced, and how she was looking forward to it. I elected not to tell her the roots of this practice as it is, oh, let’s say “explicit” and she was far to sweet to hear of such tales, but I did caution her that tongue studs have been found to erode tooth enamel. She asked if it was true, but I just smiled and suggested she verify it for herself. She never did get the tongue piercing, at least for the time that I knew her. I played a very small supporting role in her story line, but I did have at least some impact.
Of course, there are also extras. These are the people that are in and out of a single episode. I think I have these extras in my dreams as well. My brain makes up people in, say, a dream about walking through a city (as I had last night). I’ve noticed that if I try to talk with these people, they don’t respond. In the series of your life, they will respond, of course, but these are people you walk past in the street or at the store, the people driving the cars past you, the people who are for the most part background. But the thing is that every person in your series can have an impact, just as you, as an extra in their story lines, can have an impact in their series. This is why I try to always model the kind of behavior that I believe should be common in society. I know, I’m an optimist, but I believe it was Albert Einstein that says that I would rather be an optimist and a fool, than a pessimist and right. This is why I still try to display the behaviors associated with a gentleman, very old-fashioned. I do it because I see many of these behaviors as polite, and courteous. I don’t open the door for people because I don’t believe they can’t do it for themselves; I do it because it’s a courtesy and mean the behavior to be respectful.
A couple of weeks ago we entered 2020. We started a new season of your series. This is the time that the series will resolve the cliffhangers of the previous season and launch the new story line. This is why people often reflect on the start of a new year. What do you not like of your story line and hope to bring to a conclusion? What new features would you like to include? What are your plans for making these changes? Me, I have a lot of changes that I want to change, and I welcome any help in making them come to pass.