While getting in my almost four mile walk on Wednesday evening, the thought for this post came to mind. While walking the course at Sims Lake Park, I pass a few people on some days. Some days, I pass several. Thinking back to last year, when I walked more regularly, there was an elderly woman I'd see each day. Each time I passed her, she made eye contact, she smiled, she waved and she said "HI!" No matter how many times in an afternoon we passed each other, she made eye contact, she smiled, she waved, and she said "HI!" This past Wednesday, I passed people who looked to me as I passed. I also passed people who looked away.
Which are you? Are you the one who drops his/her/their/its head and looks away? Or are you like me, one who looks to nod his head, offer a smile and/or a greeting? So many, if not most, of the best things I've gained in life, have come from looking to, instead of away. Imagine the doors that are never opened to us because we choose not to simply smile or say "good morning." A smile or a sharing of positive energy can actually change and save lives. I get it though, not many of us want to chance an unwanted conversation. Guess what! You can say "not interested" or "I don't have the time" just as easily as you said "Hello", "Good Morning", or "How are ya today?" I'm sure feelings wouldn't be hurt and grudges would not be held.
A few years ago, during one of my visits to the endocrinologist, I met an elder while waiting our turns for lab work. I could have sat down, avoided eye contact, and kept silent. I chose not to. I smiled as I sat down, gave a greeting, and asked how she was doing. This ultimately led to a conversation about her fears, as they pertained to Type 2 Diabetes. I shared some of my Type 1 journey with her, and she was somewhat taken aback at how unbothered I was with "potential" complications of Type 1, and my attitude and outlook on life, living with it. She told me she felt silly for her fears, as she has not experienced what I have, and only has to take pills, eat good, and exercise some. She was encouraged by our conversation, and I pray that she is less fearful. I haven't bumped into her at the Endo since, but I think of her every June and December when I go.
I believe that a good bit of life is all about the relationships we have with one another. Communities cannot function or exist without them. Tribes and Villages are nothing without relationships. True, we don't always get along, but with honesty and respect, we can get over and beyond all things that are meant to divide us.
Just go into every interaction with goodness in your heart, a smile, and a pleasant greeting.
Those who have the ears to hear, let them hear.......