18 October 2011

Just a Glance?

Sometimes I like to stop and look at people–really look–and remind myself that everyone on this planet is very similar to me.  They have hopes and dreams and desires and fears and quirks.  They go through life doing what they believe to be best, and they try very hard to make life better for themselves, no matter what their circumstances.  They have spirits, and God looks at them–and feels them, and appreciates them, and loves them–in exactly the same way that God feels and loves and appreciates me.  They’re searching and yearning for connections, they’re making decisions that they believe will make their lives more meaningful and richer.

It’s important for me to stop like this as often as I can, for if I don’t it’s very easy for me to forget the way that other people are.  It’s very easy for me to forget that I’m not alone.  It’s very easy for me to judge other people’s actions harshly.  It’s very easy for me to neglect their needs and wants, and it’s easy to feel isolated on this planet, as if I were the only person around who’s trying to make my life better, trying to connect with a higher power and other human beings.  And I don’t want to forget these things, for I know that one of the gifts that I can give to this world is to help and encourage other people who are on their own journeys.  I can give encouragement and advice (when wanted!), I can serve as a role model and I can serve as a sounding board when people need to share their fears and needs.

If I just glance at other people and don’t consider who they are on a deeper level, then what can I give to them that will help them to live more deeply and richly?  If I don’t truly see them for what they are, then how can I ever feel the connections that are inherent in the human condition–connections that we tend not to see or feel when we’re going through life too quickly, too busy to notice the traits that we share, the traits that make us sisters and brothers, spiritual beings going through a physical experience?

Today, I’m going to make an effort to stop, to look more deeply, and to truly see the other people who are sharing my world with me.  If I can do this, then I believe that my life, too, will be much richer and much more fulfilling.

It is the individual who is not interested in his or her
fellow people who has the greatest difficulties in life
and and provides the greatest injury to others.  It is from
among such individuals that all human failures spring.

Alfred Adler

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