Tag Archives: humanity

A Man Walked Toward Me, Stumbling…

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I message with my mother pretty much every day. Since she is on the East Coast and I am in New Mexico, messaging is a way to constantly check in, make sure all’s well. When I receive a message from her, my phone sends me a notification that usually includes the first line of text. The title of this blog post is from one of those notifications.

Most of the time things we receive don’t grab our interest. Obviously, this one made me curious and had the same effect on you, Dear Reader, or you [likely] wouldn’t have bothered to click on this post. I won’t tell you how her story ended. It isn’t important. What is important, at least to me, is our reaction and awareness.

Are we so desensitized that we need shock value to register a response?

I’m desperate to grab your attention. I am not a ‘master blogger’ by any stretch of the imagination. I do my best to write honestly about topics I find interesting or important in the hope I can connect with people I’d never get the opportunity to meet in person. I am not out to make a buck. I am not looking to build an empire of ‘likes’. I am keenly aware that I am one small fish in a very large ocean. I merely make these attempts (blogs & visual art) to send a signal into the abyss with the hope of experiencing a camaraderie with others who also appreciate and identify small, profound aspects of the human condition.

Yet, for all my effort real connection is rare…

Why? We have grown impatient and shallow. We have less free time than ever before and we are bombarded with empty media content all day, every day. Everything is at our fingertips; entertainment, world news, goods & services. We don’t have to be seekers anymore, we’re only digesters. Hunter gatherers had to seek out food & water, shelter, companionship. Now, most of the world sits fingering device screens, digesting a steady stream of…well…dare I say it?…garbage. Content void of nourishing substance. Connection requires too much energy and time. We’re too busy. Too busy being dumbed down, and enjoying it.

I hate that this sounds so pessimistic, but truth is truth and it sets us free. Generically speaking, it’s true that there is a lot of good in the world, but it’s really rare for people to truly connect with other people these days and we are suffering for it. The power of touch, eye contact, and face-to-face communication has been steadily replaced by 1-minute virals and shock value. It saddens me in ways I cannot begin to describe. Social media is not connection. Most of it isn’t even real. It’s a lie, hollow and deceptive. Most media content delivers a false sense of belonging, connection, and happiness, aspects of life critical to the human experience. The eyes see, the brain digests, and over time people end up feeling more and more detached and inferior. What it offers is simple & tasty: something fast and easy that doesn’t require more from us than we’re willing to give. In contrast, relationships take time and effort.

Fleeting moments of kindness and sacrifice are nice, but they cannot provide longterm mental and emotional sustenance. It’s like taking a supplement in lieu of eating healthy food…the body can go a little while but eventually sickens and dies. We need to engage to nourishtouch more, love more, see more, experience more, be more…not just for ourselves, but for others. Seeking active engagement with others enriches the human experience. It exposes us to a variety of situations, confrontations, and conversations that prompt greater creativity, compassion, and wisdom. Engaging with others enlightens us and teaches us more about ourselves. In turn, we have the opportunity to enrich the lives of others with increased positivity and hope. Even the little things will take on a significance that blows the mind and enhances the senses. We need each other. There is no supplement or replacement therapy for human connection.

Are you there, Dear Reader?? I devote my time to this blog in the spirit of hope that you are there, and you care. Catch someone’s eye today, Dear Reader. Meet their gaze and engage. You won’t regret it and it’ll be time well spent. Rock on…

Love Letter to the World (A Wish)…

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I love it when you smile… when you look upon others without judgment, with a kind heart…

And I love the look on your face when you receive kindness from others…
I love it when you make your children your #1 priority in life and the way they, in turn, make the world a better place for others, because of your efforts…
I love it when you’re not selfish; because you recognize that being self-absorbed means you fail to see the potential in others or contribute to anyone besides yourself…
I love when you give without expectation of reciprocity or praise…
I love when you consider the needs of others above your own feelings; because you understand your feelings aren’t always the most important thing in the world…you understand others have needs that may outweigh your feelings, feelings which may actually be very self-serving…
I love that you know happiness comes from the inside, not outside, so you don’t spend time forcing others to do things just to ‘make you happy’…
I love that you fulfill yourself and strive to be a better person, not just because it makes you better, but because you know you are contributing something positive to the world through your existence…
I love that you never hurt people, lie, or try to make others feel guilty…
I love when you choose to lift people up, rather than gossip or look down your nose at them…
I love how you always endeavor to find the good in things…
I love the way you support the goals of others, rather than tear them down, even when they don’t agree with what you think…
I love your humility, work ethic, and honesty…especially during tough situations…
I love your generosity of spirit and your humanity…
But most of all, I love the way you love me back 🙂

Wearing Nothing but a Smile…

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Blog 10 ImageThere are times, especially when we’ve been hurt by another, when our hope in humanity seems a fruitless endeavor. ..

But there are other instances, those that renew our opinion of humanity, and they always manage to appear when we’re feeling let down, hurt, or hopeless…

Instances like May 1995…

This was the night I lost my driver’s license and ATM card.  I lost them in a restaurant.  The manager called me at home about an hour after I’d dined there to let me know he had them.  I drove (yes, without a license…) to the restaurant to retrieve my lost items, all the while wondering why someone had turned them in, as opposed to taking them.

The thought was due to the information I’d received from the manager.  You see, although my license had been found near the restaurant table I’d occupied, the ATM card had been found in the parking lot.  My response was immediate surprise that someone found my ATM card in the parking lot, bothered to walk back inside the restaurant, and took time to consult the manager about the situation, all on behalf of a person they didn’t even know.  I mean, they could have gotten a free Bahamas vacation or….something….right?

What a sad prospect…

With the constant barrage of worldwide media, we witness so much of the violence, pain, and senseless destruction people bring on others, we begin to believe the world must generally be that way; the summation equal to certain parts of the whole.

Take smiling for example…

I smile at everyone I pass.  Usually, I receive blank stares or odd looks, which feels pretty terrible after a while.  It’s not terrible because I’m not receiving a smile in return.  It’s terrible because the majority find it too bizarre to simply return a smile-for-a-smile without believing there are strings attached.  My grandma always told me, “smile, it confuses people,” and she couldn’t know how right she was.  Yet, out of 1000 people I might give a smile, 999 might look confused, but at least one will always smile back.  That one person makes it all worthwhile.  If nothing else, it proves there are other ‘smiling weirdoes’ like me out there 🙂

What I’m getting at is this:  We tend to label before knowing, judge without facts, and consistently fail to consider the math that states unequivocally, “there is just as much opportunity for good as there is for bad”.

So when I questioned the motives of the person who found and returned my ATM card, I failed to give a smile-for-a-smile.  I went against my broader belief that people are generally good at heart.  There is a lot of good in the world.

And to that wonderful ‘weirdo’ who returned my ATM card that night in May of 1995, I would like to say:  God bless, and may the next person you see, pass you with a smile…  🙂

 

*image courtesy of:  http://pernix.at/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/take-a-smile.jpg *

Blogging Naked…

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haha…gotcha!  Title is important it seems…

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But I am naked, this moment.  In a way you cannot see, but can appreciate… 

My heart is on my sleeve.  I love you…whoever you are.

I don’t need to know you.  I don’t need to know anything about you to love you.  Love is free; a completely renewable resource. 

Ever been to a play?  How about a ballet?  How about a small high school production in your home town?  If you have, you can relate to this short blog.  If you haven’t, you’ll still be able to relate to it. 

In every moment, movement, note, or line you ached for the performer to do well, without even knowing what kind of person they were, their politics, beliefs, or ambitions.  Why?  When the actor messes up a line, how does it make you feel?  If it makes you feel anxious for them, it is because your heart is already loving them.  The performer feels nervousness to perform just ‘right’.  But the audience feels the need to assure the performer it is okay to mess things up.  They will even applaud to show their support.  Their actions say, “Just keep going, we don’t mind, you’re doing great!”.  How deliciously complex….yet simple.     

Love….

We are connected by our humanity…the things that make us sensible to the human experience.  These are the ties that bind.  That raw love for one another is wholesome, unstained by the whims of society, event, or decade.  It is the thing that separates us from every other creature on the planet.  We empathize, we love…

So spread some more around…trust me, you’ll get it back in spades, my friend.  In spades

And remember, before you lay your head down tonight, I love you

 

In Contrast

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Love stands in contrast

to pain and suffering

fully appreciated for its brilliance

when contemplating the withered vine

 

Still, in solitude

whispered wishes

find wings as prayers

and Hope trickles in

to devastate the coldest black

 

Pain suffocates as it breathes

and we struggle to find its meaning

where there is only

the human condition

 

Little do we really know

yet pain and suffering reveal

that through their constant gardening

love is discovered…

growing among the weeds of sadness