Be One in A Hundred

December 1, 2018
by Caspar Schjelbred Minute Read
Select Dynamic field

Thoughts in the Parisian Underground

Every morn­ing this week around 9 o’clock, I took the long hor­i­zon­tal esca­la­tor at the Mont­par­nasse métro sta­tion to change from line 12 to 13. In less than a minute I would see about 200 peo­ple pass­ing by in the oppo­site direc­tion. Only a cou­ple of them would see me see­ing them. Most faces seemed frozen in var­i­ous expres­sions of dread or determination.

I thought to myself that they are miss­ing the show – the dai­ly ter­ror show. And that all it takes to be one in a hun­dred is to raise one’s head and look at the world.

On Thurs­day morn­ing, think­ing this for the fourth time, I got my phone out and wrote the fol­low­ing extend­ed note, an exhor­ta­tion of sorts, to myself, to the work­shop par­tic­i­pants I was going to see 15–20 min­utes lat­er, well to any­one, really…

Cor­re­spon­dance à Gare Mont­par­nasse

Peo­ple, hun­dreds of faces pass­ing by

Dif­fer­ent degrees of ter­ror

Most are miss­ing the show

Open your eyes, lift your head

Look at the world

Look at peo­ple

Be one in a hun­dred

Describe what you see

Express how you feel

Dare to prof­fer an inter­pre­ta­tion

Your inter­pre­ta­tion

Even though it’s not the absolute truth

Even though it’s not the last word on the mat­ter

It is a word on the mat­ter

And it’s yours

Some will recog­nise it

Some will under­stand it

Some will even share it

(Per­haps also on Facebook)

Some will love it, some will hate it

Some will mis­take you for it

Some will love you for it

And some will hate you – for it

They are all wrong: You are not it

Don’t think they love you – or hate you

No, they love or they hate it

Not you

So be an artist: Open your mouth – speak your mind!

Sing your heart out!

Get a pen in your hand – write!

And above all: Get up and dance!

No mat­ter what they say.

No mat­ter what you think they think.

Most don’t know how to see, don’t know how to feel

So come on and show them some­thing, give them something:

What you see

What you feel

That’s all you can do

Be there for them

Be there for oth­ers to see you

To feel you

Be one in a hun­dred

So tomor­row there can be two

Then maybe three

And four, and who knows

One day maybe more than fifty! A majority!

And for a sec­ond or a minute

For some­one

The dai­ly ter­ror show will be replaced

By some­thing else

By you or by some­one else

Who sees and feels the won­der show of the world

Like that man hand­ing out free news­pa­pers

At Porte de Vanves, exit num­ber two

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