Wednesday, June 25, 2003

the subway is so depressing.

My father is very much like me in many respects. For example, he writes down things that he sees that are striking to him in one way or another. This is from a sign that an elderly man he saw in the subway was carrying:

My daughter died
My wife is sick
I lost my job
Please help me

It made me indescribably sad, but also it made me angry. The other day, on the airplane, I read How To Be Good by Nick Hornby. It is perhaps the story of a marriage and perhaps an emotionally manipulative attempt at getting people to look at the world differently. Either way, I have been thinking of myself as a Bad Person every time I ride the subway. But am I automatically a bad person if I do not give money to the homeless? Am I OK as long as I do not have new clothes from the Gap despite the fact that my closet is already full? That is to say, am I a bad person if I keep my money, or am I still a good person as long as I really need the money that I keep? (I am not making myself any clearer, am I?)

So now the question is whether to allow myself to be sad and accept that I am human just for that, or get angry and beat myself up over not looking at The Big Picture. (Not to mention the fact that I have new clothes from the Gap.)