The Starving Activist is the sometimes-home for words. AR Neal (that’s me) finds them, cultivates them, and leaves them here. Enjoy.

Being Human? Not What It's Chalked Up to Be ...

It's Halloween, a day when all monsters are free to roam the streets, unafraid. They can blend in with the costumed children, youth, and adults, who think this one day of the year opens the gates to fun.Have you seen the film 'Men in Black'? If not, take a look. There is a scene when the main character, played by Will Smith, engages in a test of his appropriateness to join the elite Men in Black. When asked why he took aim at the child in the simulation rather than one of the so-called monsters, Mr. Smith offers very compelling evidence why the 'innocent' girl, walking through the woods at night with a quantum physics book, was the real monster.It's true: there are days when being the monster is probably better than being human.I had two encounters with humans who made me cringe today. More importantly, they made me want to turn into something else.In the first instance, I was circling a parking deck. I had seen a spot near the elevators and drove around to claim it.This particular deck has one-way drives.As I pulled into the spot, I barely noticed a car to my left. A car that was going the wrong way. As I gathered my bag and things, the driver of the other vehicle backed into a spot behind me that was just as close to the elevators. When I stepped out, her passenger opened his door and yelled, "Thanks for cutting us off!"Cue the werewolf.I replied, "Sorry, I didn't notice you. I would be happy to move if you like."The man waved me off.I continued, "I saw the spot when I drove round (making arm motions to indicate the right of way) and was coming to it. I am so sorry for cutting you off as you drove the wrong way."He closed his door and he and the driver did not exit their vehicles, as we would have had to share an elevator.I prayed on the way to my destination and during my visit that he would not damage my car. I also planned to find a security guard to go back to the parking deck with me as a witness, but alas, it is Saturday and none was to be found.Fortunately, all was well when I returned to my vehicle. Said irritated wrong-way passenger seat driver was also gone.Fast forward to my almost being home. I was at a three-way stop. The car to my left had the go and then it was my turn. The car went through, I had my signal on to make the right, and as I pulled off, the car behind the one to the left came through. I slowed (it's a large intersection so I didn't need to make a complete stop) but did not blow my horn or make any sort of indication of my indignation. Once I turned out behind the intersection interloper, he stopped! A full stop just beyond the intersection!Cue the werewolf again.Not really, as my first thought was, Lord, help me -- I do not have a weapon or anything if this person wants to go weird on me. Other than my car, that is. We are in the middle of nowhere so please let him drive on.And he did. The next intersection was a four-way and he went through, just as he had the three-way. Without a signal, he changed lanes and took the entrance ramp to the highway. I was thankful he was not headed into my neighborhood!So there you have it. Let us remember that we, not the monsters, are the universal hazard. Let us learn to change ... not just on Halloween, but every day. Let's give being human a better image.

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