Most every school kid has learned about the difference between potential and kinetic energy. What the school may not know is that a bunch of things have to come together in order for potential energy to become kinetic energy. For example, when I see an empty stage, I can literally feel the potential energy convert into kinetic energy. A piano will come to life once a player sits down and strikes the keys. I envision the empty microphone stand being held by a jazz singer, maybe Cassandra Wilson, whose voice would blend with the sounds emanating from the piano and what was once an empty stage would become a musical experience. The once potential energy held within the stage becomes vibrations floating through the air and landing on awaiting ears. The moving vibrations become kinetic energy that then becomes the language of the human soul. An empty stage isn’t just a place to keep a piano and cables and microphones. It’s a place where there will be communication that transcends all the limits we place upon ourselves. That is, if all the parts come together, then the potential for music will become actual music.
People really are a lot like that empty stage to me. We contain all the potential to move through life and communicate with all that we can be. I see people and I can’t help but think about how much we all have to give. But then I also see how our limited beliefs and feelings and thoughts stop us from connecting, not only with the best within ourselves, but with others who may share our potential energy. Instead of seeing each other as sharing time and space, we tend to see our differences and hate those differences that we don’t readily understand.
What’s worse, to me, is when we see those struggling through life because of something like Addiction and hold ourselves in a higher regard because we don’t have that struggle. But, I’m willing to bet that those who beat their own superiority drum are hiding some form of pain or suffering or oppression. See, it’s a normal part of the human condition to experience pain and loss and grief sometimes. Life can hurt sometimes, but we’ve gotten used to not seeing potential in others. Instead, we try to fix people through our terms. It’s like we want a piano player to get up on stage and play a stand-up bass and then judge him negatively because he can’t.
Everybody has their respective path in life. Some share that path and can learn from each other; others have a different path and learn from those on that path. That’s ok in my book. I don’t have to walk the same path as someone else nor does someone have to walk the same path as me. Really, as long as someone’s path leads her to transform her potential energy into kinetic energy and doesn’t hurt anyone, then good for her. It’s like the empty stage: There are different instruments and sounds that can be made on the stage, but no two ways are exactly the same. Hell, the same player might play the same song a different way on two separate nights. Potential energy requires a system in order to convert into kinetic energy and there’s no way that every part of the system is always the same.
We contain all the potential in the world. It’s up to each and every one of us if we want to convert that potential energy into positive and communicative kinetic energy.