At six years old, he's dying
Last Saturday (September 18, 2021) my friend Lynn and I were enjoying lunch together at a buffet vegan restaurant near Green Lake Park. She was my interpreter for the day as I was approaching strangers in the park and creating interesting conversations with them.
I would say to them, "Hi, my name is Dwight. I'm on holiday here in Kunming. Could we talk together for a few minutes?" Most often, people would say "yes," and, with Lynn's help, we'd start sharing back and forth, usually getting into pretty deep dialogues.
After a few hours in the park, Lynn and I took a break for our lunch. We talked about what we humans are willing to sacrifice in order to "be normal," which is one form of "looking good" and "not looking bad." She shared that the main reason that she got married and had two kids was to be normal and do what was expected of her. In retrospect, she was not happy with her choice.
With sadness, she also shared with me how, until about four months ago, her six-year-old son often broke into dancing spontaneously and unselfconsciously. But he became "shy" and is not dancing anymore. Maybe he decided it was "not cool." Maybe he decided that others would think he was a showoff. Maybe he decided that others would think he is not dancing "good enough."
Whatever he decided, we all know it was because of some concern he has that if he dances freely and spontaneously as he did before, he would not be "looking good."
Her son is dying.
Can you remember an early life decision where you started dying? I can for myself.
Special note: when I say to strangers, "I'm on holiday in Kunming," it's true. Almost every weekend, I take a 25-hour holiday where I go to a different part of Kunming on Saturday morning and spend a night in that area in a hotel or Airbnb, returning to my home Sunday morning. I find that if I say, "I'm on holiday in Kunming" rather than "I live in Kunming," I get a more engaged response at the beginning of our conversation, which carries over into the larger dialogue. Later, I explain that, even though I am on holiday in Kunming, I also live in Kunming.