By Christine Baker
Nyack, NY, USA
Christine Baker and Jessie
Each one of us has had moments when we were too tired to lift our head off the pillow. Each one of us has felt great despair and sadness, joy and laughter. Every one of us has felt the sting of failure and the sweetness of success. Love, friendship, heartbreak, passion and hardship have often been our companions. In this we are not alone.
This is what connects us all together like an invisible spider web from me, to you, to the person eating dinner alone in her apartment to the man washing windows on the face of a skyscraper.
The simple truth is we are all connected.
So why is it we work so hard to insulate ourselves from one another? We build houses that keep everyone else out. We build offices that have doors and shades. We create cars that silence the outside world. Before you know it, we have hidden ourselves away from everything and everyone in a make believe cocoon of our own creation.
But the fact still remains we are all connected.
It’s spring, and with this new season comes the chance to throw open the windows, fling open the shades, raise the blinds and let the cool breeze in. We usually take this time to do some cleaning. Maybe we purge a crowded closet or reorganize the pantry.
Why don’t we do the same with ourselves? Why not clean out the cobwebs from our own minds and do something to awaken our curiosity. Why not turn off the television and actually talk to the person next to us? Why not put on a pair of sneakers and go for a walk (and leave the cell phone behind)?
The other day, I actually counted how many other people I saw: 786 to be exact. People in cars, waiting for the bus, in line at the pharmacy, sweeping the sidewalk, walking a dog, getting a haircut- strangers just going about the business of being alive. It was the first time I ever remember actually paying attention to every single person I saw. Who looked happy, who did not. Who just looked flat out tired and who looked inspired. I paid attention.
I was once again reminded that we are all connected.
Wake up to the world around you right now, in this moment. You have been given a chance. It’s spring and you have just turned over a new leaf. Make a promise to yourself to be more present in your own life. Make a promise to yourself to think twice before complaining or snapping at a co-worker. Make a promise to yourself to leave an extra tip for the waitress who is working so hard just to make ends meet.
Make a promise to yourself to realize one simple fact: we are all connected. You are connected to me, and I am connected to you. So when I am struggling to walk another step up a steep and rocky path with a 40-pound pack on my back, I will think of you and I will wonder how you will help someone else today. That is what I will think of as I put one step in front of the other.
So what will you do today for someone else? Surprise me. I’ll be walking and wondering.