Friday, July 08, 2005

The Human Spirit

I wanted to simply thank everyone who has been commenting on my blog lately and especially on yesterday's "London Calling" post.

Lately, I've been listening to Chicago's WXRT radio station broadcast on the internet and they keep playing this song with a chorus that goes, "Where have all the good people gone?", (I'm not sure who sings it). About 3 weeks ago I was listening to the song and thinking that it's so true. On the news it's all murders, rapists, war and terror. On the faces of people I see everyday it seems no one smiles, and people barely say hello to one another. I was feeling sort of bogged down by all the negativity that's been bombarding me every day.

But in the last few days I've had a change of heart. I've been reading a lot more blogs lately and posting more on my own. I've discovered some of the nicest people and received comments that are beautifully stated and much appreciated. Reading the hopes, dreams, fears and sometimes plain silliness of others helps get me "out of my head" and makes me realize we all are not so different from each other.

I think most people are "good people", we have just become accustom to not showing it. Almost like we always have to wear our armor, be on guard, keep our game faces neutral and remember another threat is always lurking nearby. Today I am declaring that way of living, all BULLSHIT. Today, I vow to try and say hello to every person I come across. Today, I promise to smile at each person I see, even if they look "scary", "non-approachable" or not paying attention. Today, I will really listen to what other people are saying to me. Today, I am going to try to be as fully in each moment as possible instead of thinking about the past and worrying about the future. Today, I promise to let the positive energy of life flow through me and back out again instead of having it stop just outside of me.

Anyone care to join me? If so, please post a comment here about at least one encounter you have today while trying to apply this theme throughout your day. I'd love to hear about it! Maybe each of us individually can make a small difference in someone today, and that's got to be a start. You never know where your smile will end up, hopefully on the lips of someone else down the street.

"I can replace my feelings of depression, anxiety or worry [or my thoughts about this situation, personality or event] with peace"
- Lesson 34, A Course in Miracles
(click here to read the whole lesson)


Bent Fabric said...

You are right. There is hardly any good news reported anymore. Years ago I remember how the newscast would end with an upbeat story. Not anymore. It now ends with stories about how not to become a victim of identity theft. Sure, they are informational, but they serve as a reminder of how cynical we have become.

It is weird you should mention saying hello to everyone today. I have been consciously doing it all week. Many times my hellos are met with apathy, sometimes annoyance, but I focus on the ones who are receptive to my friendliness. It is amazing how just one hello and a smile can brighten someone's day.

Your idea is great.

B. said...

You have inspired me. For that reason alone you should be very proud.

I like to think of myself as someone who is a caring and great person. The question remains as many others know that.

I too shall try to remain friendly and upbeat to people I meet.

I love your blog. When I leave it I feel ike I have taken something good with me.


I n g e r said...

I read this before I ran out to the grocery store. What's left of some hurricane-like system from Florida is passing through Connecticut right now, and there are sheets--really, like from a bucket--pouring from the skies. So, like every other idiot, I wait for the worst of it, then go and buy milk.

A woman was sitting under the overhang eating her lunch when we got out--and the sheets were still there, and I felt so stupid for bringing my son out in it. I asked this woman if she'd mind keeping an eye on him while I ran to get the car.

The car was close--it's not like I'd ever not be able to see them. But see how this could be the beginning of every bad tale you ever hear on the local news? And this, I realize, is how fear changes my life: I don't let the kids play in the woods, like I did. I don't let my daughter wait at the bus stop alone, like I did. I don't let strangers near the kids, ever. So are they developing good judgment, or are they just learning to be afraid of nature and people they don't know?

So I asked this woman if she'd keep Liam company for two minutes. She smiled at him, and he sat on the bench next to her, and I could see them the whole time. He's smiling up at her, chatting away. She's grinning at something he said. I felt my heart open up, and when I hopped out of the car and grinned at her and said thanks, she grinned back--not a stranger's grin anymore. It felt really good.

Angelika said...

I agree with you 100%. Let's start a revolution, a kind, courteous, happy people's revolution.

Your post reminded me of one of Ellen's specials where she talks about starting a game of tag on the streets. Could you imagine everybody in their business suits and attaché cases running down the streets touching people and yelling tag your it? Everybody giggling like a bunch of kids. It would be great.

Granted I'm not about to start this in the city of Chicago and get arrested and sent to the loony bin, but it is a fun idea. :)

Once I get a job again, I think this would be a fun concept to start at work. Instead of casual Fridays we should have tag your it Fridays. Nobody really gets any work done on Fridays anyway.

sttropezbutler said...

Lovely. On my morning walks I try to say hello to each person who passes me or who..if I'm really walking, I pass. It's fun. Over the 8 months I've been walking people who wouldn't give me the time of day have started to respond and say hello back!

In far to many places, walking has become something extraordinary. Here in Houston, nearly everyone drives. When I do see someone on the street walking, and not exercising, I also say hello. It's fun. And it's free. And it's healthy. And it's needed.

So come on America...all together...I'm angry and damnit I'm going to say HELLO to everyone I encounter! Rock On.

Anonymous said...

i think the idea of a nicer more down to earth nation/world would be great! i always try to smile at just about everyone ecspecially if they just look blue. I was standing in line at the pharmacy today,evesdropping on a conversation of of an elderly gentle man and a middle aged woman. being a people person i joined into the conversation and i bet you could guess what it was they were discussing, "London". Many people with many opinions it was nice to hear open conversation of two strangers. it seems as though people everywhere are just plain angry, in parking lots, cashiers line, public events ect. so our names are called and we step up to get our medicine that we all are waiting in this line for. we all said goodbye and have a nice weekend, i noticed as we all said goodbye there were smiles enforcing our i turned away and walked down the aisle i thouhgt wow i wish everyone in the world was only half as nice as those people.

Anonymous said...

I am always trying to make small talk with strangers or at least smile at them if they look my way. I do get my moments when I feel really stressed or depressed and then I feel like I would rather not speak to anyone. Sometimes, when I feel like that, I get surprised when someone may look my way and smile. Which for Philadelphia, is quite an accomplishment.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure if it counts. But I was very nervous about starting a blog. You came and commented about my post of playing in the rain with my daughter. Then I came here to your blog. I have only read a few of your posts and I am feeling more relaxed and more like, hey well Bush is still President and every horrible crisis I am sure will lead to him going out of the White House in cuffs will manage to blow over for him...but yet there are very cool people and moments in the world! Things like your elderly lady who made you feel more than good because she thought you were pretty, but acknowledged as a beautiful soul. I had an experience like that when I was a freshman (having just graduated out of the everyone hates the new girl in junior high hell) and the really cool senior on my field hockey team said to me, you know what you have a real natural beauty, don't let anyone ever tell you different. If she ever knew what that meant to me...oh the simple ways we can make someones day even change their life!

My best kindness experience was when I was younger and not making the best choices necessarily, but enjoying the bad choices to their fullest! I was on the way home from a rave with a group of friends. It was pouring rain. We ran out of gas, I was driving. We were passed by 4 cops, not a one stopped as we pushed the car in the rain. We were in NH, we lived in RI, it was going to be a long push. A guy stopped with his 5 year old in the car. He got behind us and pushed our car with his brand new Sabb down the breakdown lane of 95 and then steered us through hand signals while pushing us off the next exit up to the gas pump. I got out to thank him profusely and he just said, "Don't thank me, I was in a worst position and someone stopped to help me years ago, just do the same and we'll be even" and off he drove, my knight in a shining Sabb.
bah I am really new to this don't remember my own blogger identity and password so logging in anonymous, I am either soskat or soskat LOL