Since having left my ex, sending my 23-year-old son out into the world to become his own man, and moving from Az to another state… I have had quite a bit of time to think and reflect on the experiences I had for the 11 years I lived in Arizona. Some things that happened over the last few years, really changed my perspective on people and the world as it is today. I have felt that the world is an ugly, dark place for many years. But at the same time, I have always made sure that I put out as much light as I can. I have done a lot for many people over the years. Both emotionally and financially. I make it a point to say hello, and smile at everyone I pass. If I see someone in pain, I make it a point to stop, ask them what is causing them to be down, and I do what I can to bring them up. I used to wonder, why I did so much good, but still seemed to only get back pain and heartache. Like, why am I not getting “good karma”? Then a few years ago, it occurred to me, that I was giving with expectation. Not expectation of any repayment from the people I helped, but the expectation that the universe would pay me in kind.
So I took a different approach, and I started giving selflessly. Completely from my heart and with no expectation of any kind to have the good come circling back around to me. I mean, when you give of the heart… and you are giving because you genuinely care, you should do it without a second thought and walk away with the reward of a person’s smile, the light that shines in their eyes when you have provided them with some light to their darkness. The way I see it… you don’t know what is going on in the lives or hearts of others around you. Years ago, my best friends husband went down the falls. (Niagara Falls, where I grew up). He went up to a woman, at the brink of the top of the falls, and asked her the time. When she replied, he said, “Sounds like a good time to die.” He then jumped over the falls and took his life. I’m sure the woman he spoke to, had no idea obviously that he was going to commit suicide in front of her.
Likewise, you don’t know that the man or woman you just walked by on the street, isn’t on their way to end their life for some devastating heartbreak they are suffering. It could be your smile and hello, that gives them a glimmer of hope that someone actually cares, a stranger even!
I have come to the conclusion, in my opinion, that it isn’t the world that is dark and ugly, but the people who are destroying it. It seems to me, that there is no human compassion left in this world. That everyone is so wrapped up in their own world, the pain of another person is of little significance. We seem to forget that everyone, every human, experiences pain, heartache, insurmountable obstacles at some point, that are weighing them to the point they simply want to give up. And we don’t consider that their heart, hurts exactly like ours did, the last time we faced some devastation that brought us to our knees.
The age of cell phones has separated us even more. I look around while I am driving, see the people walking down the street. Cell phone in hand. At the bus stops, sitting next to each other, facing opposite directions, on their phone. No one is communicating anymore. Many people have noticed the world and it’s people become so callous, unfriendly, even downright mean and ignorant to each other. It was one thing I hated about Arizona, that I wasn’t accustomed to. Back home, when you passed someone walking down the street, you look up and say hello. When I said hi to people in Arizona in passing, they looked at me like they were going to beat my ass.
So, we wonder what is wrong with the world today. We are all divided. We are all wrapped in our own bubble, with no regard for other human beings and their needs. We forget because we are not experiencing any kind of heartache, at the time, what it feels like and we don’t empathize with the person next to us, whose eyes are clearly filled with pain, and the need for someone, anyone, to validate that pain. And to validate that they matter, to someone.
It is a major lack of communication, that has caused our population to become so hateful. So self-absorbed. So dismissive of our fellow human, and our obligation to help, to whatever extent we can, to make each others world better. We all experience some pretty rough things in life… some more than others. But no ones pain or story is any bigger or better than the next. Whatever the situation may be, that is causing another person grief, or sadness, anger…. it hurts them, in their world, just as significantly as the hurt we felt when we were going through something difficult.
When you’re suffering, and someone you know says something like, “oh, it’s not that bad, walk it off, son.” It’s pretty discouraging, and certainly not helpful in any capacity, to have someone diminish and pretend to have any idea how we feel, how deep the pain, or what it’s going to take for us to overcome it.
Humans are all connected in a cosmic kind of way. We would thrive a lot better and this world would be a lot less dark and grey, if we could only reach out to one another, be a brother, or a sister to the other and show a little human compassion.
The sun, is still going to shine its brilliant bright yellow.. the leaves on trees are still going to be deep green, and that sunset at the beach is still going to take away the breath of the couple holding hands on the beach watching it set. The world is not ugly, and it will continue to be a beautiful, majestic and awe-inspiring place, whether we make it ugly and destroy it or not.
So let’s not destroy each other, let’s start lifting each other to places we, in our insecurities, never thought we could go.