Do Happy: Look Longer

Eye“Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for a minute?” ~Henry David Thoreau

You’re riding on the subway, immersed in a book.  You’re running in the park, lost in your iPod.  You’re waiting in line at Starbucks, fixated on the menu.

Sometimes we act like we’re completely alone, even when  surrounded by lots of people.  It’s like we’re following an unspoken rule that suggests we shouldn’t look at each other, at least not for too long.

It happens all the time: you suddenly make eye contact with someone you don’t know, and your discomfort compels you to avert your eyes.  If you do manage a smile, it’s probably perfunctory, without real joy and affection behind it.  Those are emotions you reserve for people you  know–people you’re more intimate with.

Some studies have indicated people who live in cities are less apt to make eye contact with strangers than people who live in suburbs. This may be a response to crowding; when you feel you don’t have enough personal space, you’re more protective of it.

If there’s truth to that hypothesis, it’s somewhat ironic.  You move to a city to experience the life that pulsates through it; and respond by shutting down in everyday situations.

Resist the urge to shutdown.  Instead of walking with your eyes glued to your feet, hold your head high and connect with people. Really see them and let them see you. If you’re not a confident person, connecting for more than one second may feel incredibly difficult.  Just try.

When you make a genuine connection you acknowledge the person in front of you is real and worthy.  You remind both them and yourself that no one operates in a vacuum.  That the world is so much larger than the constructs we operate within: our families, our teams at work, our friends.  And lastly, you foster the type of spirit that stays open to possibilities.

When you look a little longer you see more–more in other people, more within yourself, and more within your reach.

Do happy. It’s something you’re due.

This post is republished with permission. Find more of Lori Deschene’s writing at tinybuddha.com. Read the original post here


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T – Test your Truths

T


Test your Truths


How often do you accept what other people say to you without questioning it?  Are you one of those people who would “swallow a brick” as we used to say when we were young, the type of person who trustingly believes everything they are told?  I used to be like that and couldn’t understand why others would laugh at me when I’d repeat what I’d been told to others, when it was blatantly

Do you question?

untrue.  Years later and much developed cynicism and the “school of hard knocks” has taught me to question the truth behind some of the things that are spouted as truth.

One of them at the moment is the swine flu vaccination.  It has been the case for many many years that to prevent accidental loss of life that new “medical products” are tested for a period of at least five years to make sure that they are safe to use on humans.  So much so that a product being tested in Ireland on Alzheimer sufferers has had its testing stopped due to an unexpected number of deaths of testers recently, a result that is most certainly not what the manufacturers want.  It is also widely known that there is no known human resistance to viruses, which is why we can repeatedly get colds, recover and get it all over again.  Yet many of the governments of different countries are spouting the swine flu virus’s virtues and this product is only in the testing stage, so the people taking it are effectively “the guinea pigs” for the manufacturers,  and many, many people are being frightened into taking it with media scare tactics.  It just takes one death and the media goes all out to frighten the lives out of parents to get themselves and

So many people act without checking the alternatives

their families vaccinated, instead of  teaching them ways to avoid being susceptible by living a healthier life.  I had a mother at the school my daughter attends give me “telling off” for being what she called irresponsible for not getting my daughter vaccinated.  When I asked her what background study she had done on it, she replied that she’d done none, but that the government said she should get her children protected.  When I told her my version she looked seriously worried, because she’d already had her children vaccinated and hadn’t considered that there was an alternative.  Now it wasn’t my intention to have her worried, that is simply a by-product of her acting without testing the truths for her situation.  She might still have decided to get her children vaccinated with the extra knowledge or she might not, but at least she would have made an informed decision.

There are many areas in our lives where we blindly take the word of so-called experts.  In today’s society the general consensus appears to be let the leaders decide and then if we don’t like it lets moan and groan about it, maybe have a wee protest march or petition against it and then quieten down and accept the situation as it is, because there is nothing we can really do

It just takes one to test the truth and find it lacking

about it.  Yet how often have a group of people when united found that they do actually have the power to do something?   The limits we place on ourselves come down to our own self-imposed limitations. How many times have you heard someone say to you “You can’t do that!” and when you’ve asked “Why not?”  been told that it’s just not done, or it’s not right or whatever reason the objector gives to stop you?  How often have you let that stop you?  Far too many people blindly do, because “it’s not the done thing”, “it will upset XXXX”, “people will talk” or whatever excuse.  Yet when pushed to a limit that becomes unacceptable then what once seemed impossible becomes possible and truths are tested and often found lacking.  In many countries people have rallied to have laws on child abuse, drink driving, drug pushers changed and it started with one person saying:  “Someone has got to do something, and that someone might as well be me”  and then spreading the word and gathering support for their cause.   A quote from Henry Ford is very applicable here “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right!” and that is so very true.