Hello. That is why. Hello. I write to mark the time and to reach out. I write because when I am behind a screen you’re not looking at me and your quiet reading of my words might change you for the better.
We need each other now more than ever. And I really mean that. We must lift each other up. We must love each other. We must.
Where is our connection point? Everywhere. We are all connected. We are the grand domino trail. Endlessly connected actions create energy that unites us across time and space. We are the smallest and largest community bonded together by dirt, made from the same elements, full of iron and ore. We bleed the same color.
Recently I found myself out for the first time in years. (Literally, it’s been years.) I was surrounded by strangers. It was the strangest and most beautiful feeling I have felt in a long time. I was so grateful to be invited. And I was struggling to remember how to do it, this thing called being present in a room full of strangers. And as I was sort of hopelessly shuffling about trying to remember how to engage people in conversation, I heard behind me the kindest voice say, “Aren’t you Eating Buckets?” And she proceeded to tell me about something I had written that had resonated with her, and she gave me a great compliment.
And it was such a kindness, this brave ability of hers to connect and share, that as I was leaving I thanked her and said I was so grateful and I would pass the love forward to someone that evening. And as it turned out, I decided to do that in the form of buying an old man his groceries at the local grocer that evening. When I was met with surprise and even momentary distrust, I explained that I was simply sharing the love that had been given to me and said, “Don’t we need more of that right now?” And it was the most beautiful chorus that erupted between us and the cashier–yes, we said, yes, we need more kindness, now more than ever.
So much of our connection is in that moment:
How are you doing? And will you ask me that in reply, the universal measurement of reciprocation?
Hello. How are you? Tell me. Tell me true.
So many people are lonely and hurting. This is such a sad truth. Isolation makes this worse. We are coming out of isolation, but there are still those who are hiding away in a still-Covid reality that doesn’t allow them to breathe openly, unable to enter the world due to immune issues, chronic disease, cancer treatment. Their loneliness is impossible to articulate. Can you imagine feeling so unseen, so entirely alone?
And there are those amongst us who walk with such deep depression and bone-sore sadness that we cannot see the truth of our own power and beauty and we are so stuck that we actually want to disappear. Is there anything more terrible and sad than that?
And now on top of all of that we are killing each other in Ukraine? There is talk of another world war? So that we may bleed the same color on the same planet on our shared land? What insanity is this?
Where is our connection, where is our humanity, where is our heart? People. We must in full and direct effort do better. We must start here, and start now.
We must do more to pass the love forward. We must do more to show each other kindness, forgiveness, support. We must love more and hate less.
We must. Today.
And there are so many ways to do this.
I remember walking the halls in high school and saying to friends, Hi, how are you doing? I really wanted to know. I started to mentally mark those who didn’t ask me in return. I recognized then the power dynamic at play, the tacit undermining of my own place in that hallway, and ever since I have learned to steer clear of those who don’t reply with their own interest in my well-being.
I recommend this. Choose your friends wisely.
But: Keep asking anyway. Don’t let the non-askers take away that humanity. You continue asking people how they are, you hear? Because it just might change someone’s day. And that person might feel seen today in a way that they didn’t before. And who knows you might save their life with that one simple question. And maybe that person will go on to save someone else, or maybe they will save the world.
One-sided relationships create anxiety and feelings of powerlessness and sadness. It is better to stop that energy drain than to keep attempting to make it shift.
But that doesn’t mean you get to stop trying to find your people. Don’t you let anyone make you small. It’s not worth it. You’re too big, too magnificent, too magical, too powerful, too important. You understand me?
Here’s something for you, too: Did you know that another person’s happiness or sadness does not need to shake your own? When you see a person with a big smile on their face, smile right back and give that person an energy high-five. Don’t you dare try to wipe it off their face with your own lack of self-confidence or your own lousy day. You hear? You celebrate that person’s hard-won smile and let that magic strike you. Maybe it’ll even start a seed and grow your own garden of happiness in your own heart.
Don’t stifle it, grow more of it.
And if you’re a woman and you see a sister smiling or crying? Oh girl you better cheer that lady on. If she is smiling you smile wide too to extend the happiness together. And if she is shaking in her shoes with sadness, you better give that woman a hug. Right now. Don’t you dare offer her your disbelief or censure.
Don’t you dare undermine her over coffee with another friend who gains energy through belittlement.
Don’t you dare use words in violent ways.
Steer clear of that muddy place because all you’ll get out of it is mud.
If you want true down-to-the-marrow happiness, love hard, and pass the love forward.
Start today. And unabashedly tell me in your comments what you did to share the kindness and change the world today. Let’s start a revolution of loving each other and cheering each other on.
Maybe it’ll change the world.
Pass it on.