I consider my self a good person.
I open doors for strangers.
I don't ride someone's bumper that cuts in front.
I even have this fairly convincing polite laugh that I'll use in awkward silences. To make them less awkward, of course.
In the grand scheme of good-ness I would rate myself at about a 7 out of 10. Because you can always do better, right?
Don't get me wrong, doing good things is great and all but is there more that we can do for our fellow man? More than just making us feel all warm inside, but actually making a difference in those we meet? I believe there's unlocked potential there, just waiting on the green light.
Recently I had the opportunity to meet a woman going through struggles. I won't name who, what, where, and when. Let's just say we're at a grocery store. In the produce aisle. And we both reach for the last pomegranate or something like that. If I liked pomegranate…
She started telling me of some personal struggles. Bad habits she wanted to quit, the better person she wanted to become. Most of us in that busy grocery store would think "eh, great for you" and move on because that's what we do. Take the path of least resistance. Wish someone good journeys ahead and move on with your own. Why would we linger and interact? This time I did.
Listening to her story, finding out who she was, what made her tick. I stood there, as if I had all the time in the world. I asked her what she wanted, what she needed to make the changes. "A new frame of mind," she said. "You have it in you," I replied. We talked and together the two of us hashed out a plan. As if we were the best schemers you could find. People would hire us to plan events. We had it down to the details.
I don't remember her name. And it doesn't matter. All I know is at that moment we were partners. On ordinary days where I'd go about my business as usual, I decided to walk another path. I don't know about her follow-through, or if our plan needed tweaking. I just hope that she remembers the last thing I said to her.
"I believe in you."
If there's something to that whole theory of "at the right place, at the right time" then I'd say we need to seek out these opportunities to push beyond the veil of routine. See our world for what it is: connection. Instead of putting assumptions and previously conceived ideas about others in the forefront, try putting yourself out there. You may be surprised by what you find. That store, or playground, or gas station, or work place is just there...waiting.
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