“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.”
The other day I was walking along the Charles River as I love to do. The sun was glistening just so on the water and the sail boats where spinning. When the weather turns beautiful in New England, and in New England it’s literally like a switch, everyone crawls out to enjoy the warm weather. We look like hibernating animals reveling in the sun for the first time in ages.
I noticed a man jogging in front of me. He waved to an oncoming jogger passing him by. From his wave, just a simple “hey”, it seemed like he knew the oncoming jogger. I thought to myself must be a coworker. But then I kept watching the jogger in front of me. He waved to everyone he passed. Not an obnoxious wave, just a “hey I’m out here jogging. It’s gorgeous out. I’m happy.” type of wave. And guess what, NO. ONE. WAVED. BACK. Not one person!
What is that about? Are we all so distracted by our own thoughts, our own to-do lists, our own agenda that we can’t wave to someone who waves to us? Granted I realize that in this day and age maybe any slightly unusual behavior (or just typical neighborly behavior somewhere in the Midwest) puts us on guard, and triggers our fear a tiny bit. “Oh are you acknowledging me? I thought no one can see me running out here! I won’t wave back, then I won’t be seen! Please don’t make me have to engage with another human being.”
How do we solve our global problem of more loneliness than ever before, of more anger, fear, isolation, if we can’t even acknowledge someone with a simple gesture of “peace brother”?
We must change ourselves that is how. We must continue to eradicate the fear, loneliness, and pain in our own hearts. We have to acknowledge we carry this pain, anger, fear, and we must recognize that it blocks out the light and the love. It literally stops us in our tracks and keeps us from developing our ability to have compassion and healing. This translates to the world around us.
Do something about this! Decide you are going to change it up. Decide to be the person who actually initiates the wave or the smile. Start. A great little exercise if you still feel hesitant to outwardly acknowledge a stranger, is to wish them peace or a great day mentally. Beam it to them. Be kind. Always.
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