It seems almost everyone we walk by on the street, or casually speak with at a coffee shop, have a story that could rock our world one way or another. Their story could be uplifting or totally wrench our hearts into a fist-full of nails from the sadness and pain. We have a 50/50 chance of hearing the Dahli Lama’s inspiring words or the “damn my life sucks worse than yours’s ever could” complaints.
HOLD IT RIGHT THERE! Do people really talk to each other in-person? Hmmm, I haven’t noticed much of that of late. When I go to the coffee shop, which is rare, I use the drive-up window. But wow, when I’m in the grocery store, my head needs to be able to spin 360 degrees to focus on avoiding being run over by people blindly driving their carts as they mindlessly text, read emails, or mindlessly talk-talk-talk on their cell-phone.
The question is this: do people REALLY see or hear each other? Where the hell has the art of conversation gone – real words spoken orally – not digitally produced and sent into the ethers to another machine. Another question. Do you know your neighbors? Do you talk to them more than once a year? What I’m getting at is most of us probably feel like we are never seen or heard – even when having an in-person conversation. Some folks only listen to themselves talk and rarely listen to what the other person might have to say because they focus on their next response.
Is it the other persons’ fault we don’t feel seen or heard – OR – are we making ourselves small and silent because we are afraid to be seen and heard. The reasons why we would feel the need to make ourselves little can be multifaceted and complicated. Rough childhoods, fear of terrorism, losing a way of life, and living in the streets only to be ignored and forgotten is horrific. Our current world history showing us how dangerous life can be, or maybe we are learning to fear speaking up.
Now wouldn’t that be sad . . . let’s not forget to use our voice.