Speaking from my perspective, when I drive around the city, my contact with the poor is mostly through beggars at the robot. My contact with less privileged people is mostly through contact with my domestic worker and gardener. I don’t know if I am fortunate or unfortunate to work indoors, only coming into contact with people as fortunate as me – but I guess that could be another topic of discussion.
My perception of people that are less fortunate is that they are more susceptible to their circumstance making their life incredibly tougher, at a moments notice. Their ‘layer of cottonwool’ that protects their peace of mind and happiness is not that thick. The security of a meal at the end of the day, let alone their job security is paper thin. But perhaps their happiness and that barrier of protection are not as intertwined as I think. Perhaps it is better for one’s sanity to have less “material things” to worry about.
Nonetheless, it has been a stark realisation to me this last week, through one or two events and the discovery of Post Secret, that people are really fragile. We’re harbouring dark secrets and insecurities that are masked and shoved deep down into the depths of our personalities. It’s quite scary, actually.
Post Secret, for those of you that don’t know, is an ongoing community art project, where people around the world can write their own secret on a postcard and post it off to an address in the States. Each week, Frank Warren, who started the initiative shares some of these secrets with the world on postsecret.com. Open the site up when you’ve got an hour or two of free time.. just a light word of warning.
The secrets vary in depth and focus, but span the human spectrum of emotion. There are light-hearted ones, romantic ones, sad ones and terrifying ones. There are secrets that you relate to, because in some way, you’ve felt those same emotions, even if their were murky and you never let them crystallize and really let them be appreciated in their full glory. I’m afraid that at some point I’ll experience the pain and anguish that are expressed in some of the secrets that I currently don’t relate to.
An interesting insight for me was to see how few of the secrets related to peoples’ jobs and work. There are the consequential ones where work creates circumstances of extreme emotion, but for the most part, people’s deepest emotions were about love, life, beauty, emotions and other people. I’m glad to see this, albeit that we exist in a work of WORK WORK WORK!
Here are a few secrets that resonated with me.