Tuesday, March 22

Why did we stop talking to people?

Most people in any given department store won't talk to, or even look at, the janitorial staff, or the stockroom staff.

At my former library job, I'm not sure how many of the student workers took the time to talk to Tony or Richard, the copier repair guys. Did they even know their names?

My roommate, who is in a Figurative Drawing class, tells me that the prof generally doesn't talk to the models and the students rarely hear their names.

In my drawing class, I was fortunate to have a professor who insisted on talking to the models, getting to know them, and encouraging the students to do the same. As a result, we all walked away with a fondness of the models, and a profound respect for them. The prospect of looking at them "objectively" bothers me. Can I actually draw Carlos without caring about his love of photography? Can I protray Erl without smiling at his quirky sense of humor? Can I sketch Donna without knowing her regality and nobility? I might draw the forms accurately, but they will have no soul.

All people carry the Image of God, the Imago Dei. If I refuse to talk to some people just because they have a "lower" job than myself, what bit of the Image am I missing? If I ignore Krissy, I miss a sweetness and openness. If I ignore richard, I miss a pride in work done well and an honesty that is cutting but without malice. If I ignore Christian, I miss a humility and strength. But, most importantly, I miss a person. And no soul is too small to overlook; except, perhaps, those who have withered their own souls in the name of "objectivity."

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