I’ve been feeling pensive of late. Restless, as the days begin and end, begin and end, over and over and over again. I go about my daily activities, do my errands, brushing shoulders with others doing the same. And too often, we barely make eye contact, let alone speak.
I feel it most often when I take the bus. Over and over, people get on and get off, staring straight ahead, careful not to stare, or upset the monotone. And I do it, too. I get on, sit down, stare straight ahead till I reach my destination, get off, walk away. Barely any connection is ever made when riding the bus. I’ve taken the bus for years, on and off, and mostly it’s the same. The same. And more of the same.
There is one man I keep meeting on my journeys on the bus who cheerfully says hello to each person he meets. He has this big voice and a happy smile and he’s..well..kind of like Santa Claus without the red suit. And you know what? Most people look away. Like he’s pathetic. No, people! Don’t you see? We’re the pathetic ones, for not returning his happy smile and wishing him a boisterously happy day!
It makes me sad, because it feels like so many people are just DEAD inside.
There’s definitely something rustling inside me to make a change in my corner of the world. I didn’t make any ‘resolutions’ this year at all, which is not like me. Usually I spend New Years eve or New Year’s day writing in my journal, looking both forward and back, and creating a plan for the following year. But not this year. This year I did not put pen to paper at all.
Let’s face it. Our hearts are heavy with war, and fear, and terror, and money problems, and worries of thousands of misplaced families – to name only a few things! We grow tired of greedy corporations wanting to kill our earth and put garbage in our food and make us believe that their way is the only way and that there is no better way for us. Technology, while promising connection, causes us to bury ourselves in the pathetic devices we carry around EVERYWHERE with us – causing more alienation than connection.
Perhaps it’s this heaviness of heart that is causing my restlessness. Lately, that little voice inside me is telling me that I must be the one to reach out. To extend my hand. To offer a smile, a helping hand, even a touch. Sometimes I have these silly ideas. I think, what if I brought a package of candy onto the bus and passed it around? Would that make people smile? Or at least, respond in some way? Or I get this strong desire to be one of those people who take a sign into their downtown core offering FREE HUGS. Because Lord knows that no one gets enough healing hugs these days. Or to write little notes of encouragement and leave them in random places that I go…
What IS growing inside me is the firm belief that we are connected, and that every time we hurt others, every time we hate and despise and treat badly – we hurt ourselves, too. And we hurt the world at large. So, if I am making a belated resolution at all, this year – it’s to find ways to bring more joy. For myself, I need some kind of deeper connection with the world around me. I need to bring some light to other’s faces, even if for only a moment. I’m going in search of more ways to do these things this year.
Now, I’m off to create that FREE HUGS sign. Anybody with me? 🙂