My mom and I recently discovered the BBC show, “Extras” starring Ricky Gervais that ran a few years back for a couple of seasons. It is a hysterical show about Andy (Ricky Gervais) and other characters navigating through the entertainment industry and trying to make something of their lives while maintaining friendships and other relationships.
In the last episode I watched, Maggie (Andy’s socially inept and awkward counterpart) almost ruins a potential writing deal that Andy has set up. Maggie, lacking social skills, approaches the gay producers and tries to help out Andy by warning them of his discomfort (as she perceives it) and almost costs him the deal by making him appear as if he is homophobic. To make a long story short, Andy gets mad, confronts Maggie and let’s her know what she has done and how she needs to stop being so childish and learn how to grow up. As Andy slams the door in Maggie’s face, the camera pans to her apartment – filled with little knickknacks and stuffed animals. She is defeated as she looks upon what she perceives her life has become.
(Here’s a clip of the scene – viewer discretion, though, there is some cussing.)
Maggie – a woman much like many, if not all of us – trying to make sense of her world while navigating through difficulties, let downs and social pressure. And then there is Andy – a man much like many of us, if not all of us – forgetting to see the Maggie’s of the world trying to make it through life.
The 20 minute drive from class to work leaves many opportunities for me to experience bad drivers. Today was no different. As I found myself shaking my head, going around people who were driving significantly slower than the speed limit…I thought about Maggie and Andy.
I was almost to work (in downtown Lexington) and I was sitting at a red light waiting for it to turn when I started watching each person turn in front of me. I saw people of all backgrounds and walks of life pass by and I started to feel bad – kind of like an Andy.
It hit me that each person that passed is dealing with something in their life. Maybe they are experiencing loss, pain or some sort of burden. It’s possible that one of the passerby’s is experiencing guilt or shame on behalf of a stupid mistake. Statistics would say that at least one of the people who drove by was unemployed – struggling to get a job. You know, perhaps the older lady who cut me off is beginning to lose her sight or an altered awareness of her surroundings.
You and I both know what we are dealing with and Lord knows we need other people to understand and show us some patience and grace as we try to navigate our own lives in the best way we know possible. My guess is that other people know what they are dealing with, too, and could use the same amount grace, patience, forgiveness and love as they work through their lives.
May we be people who respect other people and the reality that none of us have it truly all together.