Walking around downtown Macon soothes my soul. That may sound exaggerated or dramatic but that’s about the only way I can put it. I moved here three years ago from midtown Atlanta, seeking a stable job and a start to my career. So three years later, we are still here. It's interesting the way things grow on you. The things I felt I'd miss the most about one place became the things we valued in our new location. For instance, I loved how diverse Atlanta was. Piedmont Park is a kaleidoscope of culture and only two blocks from our condo on West Peachtree Street. You could hop on a bicycle and take a spin around the park to find a sea of people hustling around with mouths eating chili dogs, hands throwing frisbees, and eyes staring at the clouds. In this one place, you could watch life go by like a weird movie. It was peaceful and hectic at the same time.
But all this "diversity" often reminded me of this glaring fact: there are a lot of people in Atlanta. They stand in a lot of lines and create a lot of traffic that I had to sit in. Macon, on the other hand, especially downtown, is much the same but without that congestion. The people I encounter around downtown Macon still come from many walks of life, still arrive with hearts full of the day's offerings. I sit and watch them and I think ‘Where are these folks coming from?’ What master plan brought them here, to the heart of Macon, where their paths would intersect with my own?
Do they look at me and wonder the same thing?
Did the lady in the blue Jeep get that promotion she was hoping for? Did the lawyer grabbing a quick lunch spill coffee on his tie again this morning and show up late to work? Does that guy on the corner need my money and if so, why isn't he working? What did their parents teach them? And what, if anything, might they remember about that instruction?
All these people, all these stories, all these different ideas, dreams, and memories. I got to wondering about a subject that some of us share: the lessons we learned as children. Among all of these people walking around, there are ideas, thoughts, lessons, floating around that have been passed down by parents and loved ones. Walking around downtown Macon, I asked random people one simple question and recorded their answers assuming we all might have more in common than we realize: what lesson did your parents pass down to you?