I have a decree I give (like a prayer) that asks that whomever I'm in contact with today, let it be meaningful. Even if all I have to give them is kindness. It is my hope that anyone I have interaction with will come away from it feeling uplifted and appreciated.
The task is not as easy as one might think. There is an unusually high amount of discord in the neighborhood where I live and work. I'm noticing people having a difficult time tolerating one another. I'm especially noticing this driving on 39th Street. All you have to do is be stopped waiting to make a left turn and eventually, someone will pull up behind you, squeal their tires to get into the other lane to pass you, then reel it back into the left land to continue their journey.
I just stepped outside to mail a letter this afternoon and when I turned around to cross the street to go back to my office, I noticed a Yellow cab ready to turn left, which would have put him in my path. So I stood on the curb waiting until he turned or until I made eye contact with the driver so I could be sure he knew I was there.
Well, he began his left turn and as I stood there waiting for him to be on his way, he stopped and made this dramatic, furious arm gesture back and forth to be sure I knew that he wanted me to cross the street RIGHT NOW because he was late for I don't even know what...you really had to be there to see how overtly rude this man was being when I had absolutely no problem waiting for him to make his turn and drive past.
I find this fascinating.
How can we hope for anything better in our lives when we can't even tolerate others peacefully going on about their business?
I used to read a lot of blogs that seemed to criticize everything you can name but offered no solutions on how to improve things. Just the absence of bitching all the time is one way to improve things. I actually feel better not reading those blogs anymore.
What if...just for today...we were kind and tolerant with everyone we came in contact with, both here and on the streets? What if we offered real suggestions or volunteered to help where we see programs faltering? Maybe offer something substantial up front instead of waiting for something to fail and offering my least favorite hind-sight comment, "Well I coulda toldya that..."
Anything even remotely positive would be an improvement.