“Strangers are just friends I have not met yet. ” – Dan Milman
While sitting in the airport terminal waiting for my flight in front of a children’s play area, I was busily working on a systematic review I am trying to get published. After I finished my work, I began doing my stretching/squatting routine to keep myself loose and limber despite being cramped in a metal tube all day. All of a sudden, a friendly women turned to me and said: “Aren’t kids wonderful? It does not matter their race or color, they make best friends so easily.”
That was such a profound statement. Children are gifts from the universe that allow us to learn the lessons we have forgotten. When did we become so disconnected from our natural state of well being and interconnectedness? Main stream media and other influences have lead us to believe that superficial external differences are ultimately very important. This is absolutely false!
Whenever you find yourself being rude to a stranger that is doing something “wrong”, remember that they are someone’s father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, or aunt. Are their actions truly imbued with malicious intent? We tend to attribute our negative actions to external circumstances, while attributing negative actions of others to being due to character defects.
This is obviously easier said than done, but it is a truly transformative exercise. For example, next time you find yourself irritated by how slow someone is driving in front of you, imagine if that person was your grandmother or grandfather. Your expression/feelings would instantly change, right? This brings up a super important point: Reality only has the meaning you give it. So to make this world a better place, it is essential to develop the skill of compassion.
I am by no way a guru, and I fail at an embarrassingly high rate to exhibit compassion, honor, and respect for another’s humanity instead of making rash and superficial judgements. Even though I have and will continue to fail miserably at this practice of being more compassionate, it is one that has and will continue to improve my state of well being and help to build a better world. Keeping Dan Milman’s wisdom in mind is what inspired to persist through my failures.
Be Happy and Chase your Dreams,
PS Here are a couple of ways to connect with me if you have any questions or have any specific topics you would like me to address.