The American Way

I’m running a little behind so I better disregard the world.

As I sit on a loaded flight from STL to PHL I can’t help but think about the rest of my day.

What time will I land? How long to walk to my connecting flights gate? Will there be a gate change? Etc. However, I can’t help but think about everyone else on the flight. Part of the curse/ blessing that comes with being an empath is that I’m always in other people’s shoes mentally.

I firmly believe that part of the issue with society today is the lack of empathy we show each other and as our technological footprint grows we feel more comfortable giving a like or moment over digital media rather than engage ourselves in actual conversation with people.

I sit here and I think to myself. “You’d never know looking at me that I’m a cook. If it weren’t for my (often complimented) rainbow gauges, you’d probably not assume I’m gay. My weight, my age, where my final destination will be are all things you’d be hard-pressed to guess, unless I gave you clues.

This is all I think about! The guy next to me and I spent the first half of the flight reading. He doesn’t look like he’s reading a textbook but he’s under lining tons of lines with a pen. He then pulls out a notebook and draws what looks like comic book speech bubbles in varying sizes in different directions with letters and numbers in them.

It’s possible he’s studying some type of science I don’t understand and making charts that are foreign to me. It’s also possible he’s schizophrenic. Maybe he’s just practicing drawing comic book speech bubbles. Maybe he’s a businessman in a business I just don’t understand. Yet he keeps me curious.

I think about the fight attendants and where they are based. She seems so kind and courteous to me, but maybe she hasn’t seen her family in years.

I always look at strangers and invision what’s going on with them. At work (Nursing Home) some of the nurses refer to me as “The Diffuser” because I’m able to talk to even the most difficult and challenging resident and squash any complaints, complications, or outbursts. They wonder how I’m able to constantly deal with ANYBODY.

Three little words:

Empathy. Compassion. Understanding.

It really is easy once you get used to it. I’ve not always been so good at it but I’m pleased to say I learned in my twenties what some people go their whole life without grasping.

You want to know the meaning of life? I know it. I can tell you right now. Whether you believe it or not is completely up to you. It sounds like something you’d read on a bunper-sticker that’s sun faded on the back of an RV.

The meaning of life is the journey.

What you do, how you treat people, and how you change are what life is about. Good things and bad things happen to everyone! Absolutely, without exception, every human being faces good and bad in their life. Tragedy and triumph. Gains and losses. The way you react is completely dependent on you.

My initial flight was scheduled to land at 12:09 with my next flight boarding at 12:10 in a different terminal. Rather than be anxious and panicked the whole time I just said a quick little prayer.

“God, please let things flow smoothly or at least make it entertaining.”

I checked my flight status to see that, because of fortuitous weather, my flight was going to land at approximately 11:40 instead. A full 29 minutes prior than expected.

Somehow optimism and faith always seem to pay off. I often see people who let themselves get completely frazzled and offset by things they can’t control. I’m also a big believer that you get the energy you put out. If you think you’re going to run late chances are you will.

I actually recently read a study that suggested thinking you got enough sleep and thinking you feel rested will actually convince your body that it’s true. You’ll have more energy and feel better. Eventually you’ll need to catch up on your sleep of course, but the notion that your mind believes you is powerful.

If you think you’re an ugly loser all the time your brain will believe you. Sometimes you’ve got to just lie to yourself. Tell your brain that everything is ok. Convince yourself that you’re about to fall asleep and you probably will.

I also feel that thinking more about other people will make others think about you more.

Being kind to strangers will probably make strangers be kinder to you. If you’re into the metaphysical you’ll probably refer to it as Kharma or maybe even Spirit. Yet more now than ever even the scientific community is researching the Energy we have. You think about the actual electricity our brain uses pulsing thoughts with such high volume and speed that you can’t even be aware of everything your brain does at once.

Active thought, subconscious thoughts, motor skills, breathing! Your brain is busy and it creates energy. Energy attracts energy.

I’ve been called lucky by a lot of people but I don’t think it’s luck. I think it’s an actual effort to be positive, optimistic, kind, and understanding.

One day at CVS I was picking up a prescription on the way to work. As she scanned it in the system to check me out, her register froze. She tried logging into the second register but couldn’t pull up me prescription because the frozen register had it stuck in some half-processed limbo. This is a situation where a lot of people would have been pissed! I’m sure someone else would have cussed her out and complained that they had to go to work.

I knew it wasn’t HER fault. I knew being angry wouldn’t fix her register. I also knew that making her feel bad would probably fluster her and make her take longer. She kept apologizing so profusely. I told her

“Relax. It’s not your fault. Me being upset wouldn’t help the matter either. I’ll have a seat and you let me know when things are up and running.”

And she paused, immediately I saw her calm down a little and she said “I wish everyone was like you.”

I’m pretty sure we’ve all convinced ourselves that we don’t have time. I don’t have time for this, and I sure don’t have time with that. With every invention we’ve had that automated or expedited everything we do, we somehow have less time than ever before.

Time is fleeting. E-mail may be instant and a letter may take 4 days but they both accomplish the same thing. I seem to notice though that the people hard pressed for time seem to get less done than those with patience.

Your homework today? Slow down. Take a moment to stop and listen to someone. If you’re dealing with a cashier and things take too long, maybe that’s nature’s way of saying you need to slow down too.

Aways try to be empathetic. You don’t know what people are going through. Every stranger you pass has a whole life just like you do. Never forget that nobody, anywhere, ever is not worth the same as you.

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