I’m going to do my best to describe her, but I doubt I could do it justice. She is simply a presence, a good one, the sort that walks by with the scent of calm, quiet understanding trailing her. She has the simple gesture of a woman who learned to care for total strangers from her own experiences as a mother.
Now, let’s back this story up a second.
We’ve been here in our new apartment for 8 weeks now. I love this little place. It is doing precisely what I wanted it to do. Break me free from my agoraphobia. And this is the first time in 4 years I’ve been around people for better parts of the day. But, here is the caveat: everyone who lives in this complex is gorgeous, young, pretty….and weirdly in their own heads, terrified of eye contact, terrified of acknowledging another human, terrified of being outside in the world with strangers who could hurt them. (WOW! Sounds like the agoraphobia that crippled me for years! Has the whole world gone mad?)
They stare down at their phones to avoid seeing you, and if they DON’T have their phones, they look at as many strangest places as possible so they don’t have to make eye contact with you. Their heads dart here and there, twitching back and forth to look at something other than you. “Oh, what’s that up there? A cloud….Wow. Clouds.”
I walk by and say, “Good morning,” because that is how I was raised.
But, you get nothing back. Not a thing. You were this shapeless blob of human that they could not be bothered with. And you just wanna shake the SHIT out of them and scream, “RUDE! It’s a salutation, not a commitment!”
Oh, these kids today. Nothing is real if it wasn’t seen first on their devices first….And if they don’t have their devices, if they don’t have their social media, then it never REALLY happened.
But, I have a tendency to walk by this one woman every morning. She is about 50ish, and tends to walk her dog about the same time I’m leaving to go about my errands.
I offer my usual, “Good morning,” and she replies with a bright smile, “Good morning.”
And it makes you think it must be some kind of generational thing. I mean, when did “bitchy” become fashionable, and “politeness” become cause for concern?
I mean, if you cannot accept some total stranger’s wish for a good passage through this madness we call “our day,” then what kind of weird ass world are you living in? WHAT is going on with you?
Maybe that’s just it: if you’re not willing to receive a blessing, then maybe it’s because you’re not capable of offering one yourself. And I cannot help you with that. But, maybe there is an app you can download….
So, this morning when I passed this delightful woman I said, “Good morning.” She responded with her usual genuine smile, “Good morning.”
But, I said more.
“By the way, if I may….”
She turned to me and asked, “Yes?”
“Two things. THAT is one beautiful grey hound. I assume it’s a rescue. And secondly….thank you for being the only person since I’ve moved here to wish me a ‘Good Morning.'”
TO which she replied, “You’re very welcome. And thank you!”
Don’t let your days seek out the harm in people that you’re convinced may or may not hurt you, but look for the blessings people are trying to offer you with absolute conviction instead.
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