We simply drive by other people’s lives only to get a glimpse of a face… a smell… a sound… but we don’t really know what life is like for them.
How is work going? How is that new boss? What’s going on at home? Are your kids healthy? How is your mother doing?
We don’t know those answers, and for the most part, it’s none of our business. But think about this: if you did know, wouldn’t you act differently?
So, perhaps flash them a smile, ask how they’re doing, give a parent with a red-in-the-face-nothing-can-stop-them-from-crying-their-eyes-out, cranky baby an expression that says you totally get it even if you have no clue, and watch your step. Slow your pace a bit so the older woman in front of you doesn’t feel the presence of a dark shadow hovering over her as she walks down the street in the brutal heat.
I think the most important responsibility we have in this non-stop and sometimes, unforgiving world is to be kind. We need to stop and remind ourselves that we are all in this together like colored pencils jammed into a tight jar. We can enjoy the everyday interactions… the give and the take… even if they only last a few seconds.
Why not take a cue from those songs we memorized as children meant to teach us how to behave and how to treat one another… even a smidgen? If you don’t remember, an easy alternative is to throw on some 60’s jams and absorb. Listen to those words. Maria Elena, who is basically my second mother, says it best: Siempre algo. The translation… always something. It’s always something. Your reaction and actions that follow define who you are.
Yes, money matters. The deadlines are real. We are all stressed out and have off days. Life can get ugly and downright cruel. Trying to work your way up to the top… blood, sweat, and tears… doesn’t always translate as planned in real life, but there are always possibilities, options, alternatives, and plan b’s that are obvious or perhaps yet to be seen, but they are real nonetheless.
Planning for the future is key. Remembering the past is critical. But we also need to live today… this hour… right now, fully. So, look to your left and smile. Say something kind to a stranger. Be forgiving. Shake that angst and frustration out of your bones, and please, please, please stop honking. The light just turned green.