“Hi, how are you?”
Good. What else would I be? What else would I say? You weren’t expecting me to tell you how I really felt? Were you?
When we must interact with strangers we ask questions with no meaning behind them and give brief conditioned answers. We never wonder. We never truly desire to understand the other person, because it is only a short interaction, right? There is no need to make anything of it, but you could have impacted that person’s day, if you knew how they really felt. They could have impacted yours, if they knew how you felt. You could have benefited from each other’s kindness.
I have started to develop a disliking for small talk and what is considered a “normal” interaction amongst strangers. I feel that what’s normal needs to change. Normal is a term used to describe a lot of different aspects of life. For example, living in a country, having borders, is normal. War is normal. Eating meat is normal. Going to college is normal. Getting a 9 to 5 is normal. Retirement and vacations are normal. Finding joy in materialistic things is normal. Looking up to and following celebrities, and the trends they set, is normal. Desire for money is normal. The concept of money is normal. Having a large circle of friends is normal. Saying, “Hi, how are you?” to strangers is normal. I could go on for days listing what we all agree upon is normal, but I think you get it.
Now, some people reading this may be thinking here goes this little hippie child about to tell me to save the earth, stop supporting my country in war, and to love everybody. Yeah, I guess that would be a normal person’s response. Too bad, I don’t care for what is normal.
I no longer wish to live a life seeking validation from others. That could never fulfill me. I can not rely on others to tell me my worth. I would eventually crumble, if I continued to hold the belief that I am only worthy, if I am liked by others. I can no longer live with the fear of not being understood. I do not see myself as completely separate from others. I no longer feel the right to have an opinion of another. My empathy has manifested and has become a controlling force in my life. It may lead some to believe that I am weak and easily taken advantage of, but I believe it will one day be my greatest strength.
We all have thoughts running through our minds all day long. Thoughts focused on, not loving, but being liked. We aren’t worried about making sure the other person feels loved. We are too caught up thinking about ourselves, but really not our well being. We can all relate to the fact that we all have insecurities. We don’t often realize this though, because we are too keen on our own, picking ourselves apart, as we compare ourselves to others, and what they present on the surface. Realization of the fact that we are alike, realization of the fact that we cling to belief systems and opinions for security, will lead us to surrender as our only option. We would then surrender our identification with these things and see us as alike, see us as one. Once you come across this realization and keep this in mind, while interacting with others, you will never want to cause harm to them, because you know, like you, there is depth to them, something going on inside of them, that is deciding all of their actions. Often though, what is inside is insecurity and uncertainty. This controls our actions, but it really shouldn’t. We should be so full on love, that is all we want to put out into the world.
Most everybody is lost. They don’t know themselves well enough. They have not a clue what gives meaning to their life. They don’t feel purpose. They do not spend time alone. They have never even thought of loving themselves. It’s strange that I did not know what self love was for the first sixteen years of my life, others have gone on longer. So, most people don’t love themselves or feel purpose, so they seek these things in the world outside of them, not realizing, it is all inside. They become followers. They follow beliefs of the Catholic church, Islam, or what/whomever. They follow the other good little girls and boys to college. They get a safe job like everybody else. They live simple and never search for meaning. They never create a bigger picture for themselves.
If we all just focused on personal growth and self love, if we all created a bigger picture, then we would know harmony and love. We would not know a forced “Hi, how are you?”. We would know genuine smiles and warm greetings. We would know truthful answers from strangers. We would know love amongst strangers. We would not know strangers. We would know human beings. We would know friends. We would know intimacy with all people. We would know cooperation. We would all know what it is to give and we would all receive.
Love is the new normal. Next time you ask someone how they are, mean it, or ask them something more meaningful, if you like. Whatever you do, don’t deprive a stranger of your kindness, just because you haven’t felt you have been shown any.
Give love. Receive love. Be love.