How EmeraldCon Made Me A Better Person (Kinda, Sorta, Not Really)
I ran into my neighbour the other day and I realized something horrible. I barely know the man. I feel incredibly guilty about this because I feel as if I should know him. I feel as though I should be someone he can count on do help him out and vice versa. Should we not know our neighbours just a little bit better than we pretend to? This opens up many different conversations but the one I want to have today is how I got to know the comic book guy next door.
It is crazy how I have never really spoken to him. We've exchanged a few words here and there but nothing substantial. Yet, he has been my neighbour for many years. I am embarrassed by this. I feel like a tool! Yet, I expressed this point and many have told me it does happen a lot (usually, in that "those are the neighbours and I wonder how many babies they've eaten this year" kind of tone).
It isn't like he is a recluse... wait, what if he isn't a recluse. What if I am the recluse? Oh, no, what if I am the one who has not done my bit for King and country? What if I am the one who has let my social interactions falter and become that dude who talks a good game and... oh, wait, oh, wait. Let me not fall into that trap again. I am not a recluse at all. I am just a guy who works too much and gets tired far too often. I blame the pug cuddles.
Aaaaaaannnnnyway. Back in the town of Shanetopia.
But the other day, we did connect. While he was cleaning out his truck, I parked in my space a few feet away. I got out and mentioned that I had just come from watching the Avengers. What happened next was a half hour conversation about comic books, comic characters, who the next Avengers villain would be, and everything about the world of comic book films
This post originally would have been about comics but what the experience did tell me was that I don't know my neighbours as much as I should. We have a few well known celebrities in the building whom I have run into from time to time - and they were (and are) very normal, cool people. I know them as much as I know anyone where I live and this saddens me.
Over the summer, we have several building parties scheduled and I am going to join up. It is just a mystery to me why I don't see these people as often as I should. Are we really that busy? It seems like as time goes on, people get busier... actually, no. They are not busy. They are tired. There is something about this world that makes us tired and we don't seem to know what it is. Is it the heat? Is it the schedules we keep? Are we just tired of everything? It almost seems like the entire world needs a holiday.
There is more to this hypothesis. I suspect the majority of our continued tiredness is the simple fact that we are not primed or built to maintain an information overload. Where does this come from? It mainly comes from the multitude of devices we have and carry. But it isn't so much the devices, it is the content on the devices. There is so much being thrown at us that that is considered important that we lose sight of what we should be using our precious brain power on. This "other stuff" is what we have in front of us. We have friends, family, and local causes that need our attention. A whole lot of what is being tossed in our direction and consumed by our brains is a lot of "stuff" that is happening thousands of miles away on the other side of the planet.
I am not going to say that this stuff is less important, but there is only a certain group of people that goes off to help. The bulk of people are right here in our backyards. We don't pay half as much attention to them as we do to things we see on CBC Newsworld or CNN. These international issues are important but since that is what gets the most play on the devices we use to consume information, we forget about what is happening around the block from us. We forget about who our neighbours are and I think this is a sad situation to be in. I always knew I didn't know my locals that well but, after hanging out with a bunch of them, I have found that I am missing something.
I am going to have to think about this and see what it is that I can do in a local sense to fix my interactions with people I see quite often but don't really talk to.