If I can treat you as an ‘it’, then I’ve got your number.
You’re a lawyer, a doctor, a teacher,
a nuisance, a blessing, a distraction,
always late, always good for a laugh, always boring,
infuriating, beautiful, unreliable.
It takes courage to treat you as a ‘you’,
because I might find out that you’re none of these, that you defy language or explanation. I might find out that you’re not who you were when I left this morning, that you’re not who I’m trying so desperately to have you be. I might have to allow myself to be bowled over by your vastness and your mystery. I might have to allow myself to feel your suffering. It takes courage, because when I find out how little of you I really know, I might find out that I also know only a little of myself.
And when I’m open enough to treat you as ‘you’, there’s a chance I might get to be ‘I’ in return.