“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so let us all be thankful.”
Thanksgiving is one of those times where everyone is thankful, everything is copacetic, and things are looking up. Life is great. Nothing could be better.
It certainly is a rather pleasant having everyone navigate through life as if nigh walking through clouds. An observation regarding this is that this mostly only takes place through the Holidays. Does that not ever make you wonder?
Rewinding back the tape a bit, over a decade ago back at the University used to have a great friend while at ASU. We were both in the same Manzanita dorm, both in the Aerospace Engineering floor, and after meeting early on and clicking extremely well we made sure to take as many classes together since it would be highly beneficial to be able to have a ‘study-buddy’ and such. Due to this we naturally spent a lot of time together.
In any case, one thing that always amazed me was that it seemed that this individual knew everybody.
When approaching people he would say: “Hi, how’s it going?” “Hey, how you doing?” “How’s your day?” “How was your weekend?” And so on and so forth. This took place every day we were out and about. It stunned me, because at first blush, it seemed to me that he knew everyone. Why wouldn’t he? He sure talked to everyone like he did.
That led to me posing the question to him of how he got to know so many people. He proceeded to laugh nervously and told me that he didn’t know any of those people before. That stunned me. After asking a few people to verify he wasn’t yanking my chain, it turns out in fact, most of those people he didn’t know at all. Later on, finding out that it came natural to him, he said you just have to put yourself out there and see what you find.
Me being mostly an introvert back then, and not ‘out of my shell,’ it wasn’t easy to just go up to random people and start a conversation. But after meeting him it became easier and easier, to the point that it’s been something that has been implemented into my daily repertoire in countless interactions with folks.
Why is this important? Because in over a decade of interaction with hundreds of folks, from all walks of life, in many different places, at least half the people or so don’t seem to have much interest in interacting with folks besides the usual cursory manner. Some will even give you askance looks like “What the hell do you want?” Most people are polite though. It’ fascinating from a macro observation point of view.
Have queried some of my friends on the matter and they all agree with the general consensus.
This isn’t the case during the holidays though.
It seems everyone is “nice” and “polite”. The reason that’s in quotations is because, if most people were really nice, wouldn’t they be nice all of the time, rather than only during the Holiday season? It’s just a question. It just makes me wonder who’s doing it because that’s what is expected and who is doing it because that’s how they are. There is an enormous difference.
Many folks will undoubtedly feel it is easier to say hello during the holidays, as opposed to other parts of the year. That is not the case with everyone. One can tell some folks are just doing it because it’s what society expects. It just makes me wonder why society is how it is, and why people choose to act how they act, regardless whether its the holidays or not.
Another recent example of interactions with folks in my life took place when going to the Secret Space Program Conference in Bastrop Texas this year. From the moment you entered the doors of the convention center, you could just feel the atmosphere be electric. It was so dense you couldn’t slice it with a light saber.
Within a minute or so, was having conversations with two separate groups of folks and that basically set the tone for the rest of the weekend. Ended up myself meeting folks from all walks of life. Engineers, teachers, civil servants, business folks, retired military and people from other strata of society.
Conversations flowed, information was shared, life was contemplated and no topic was off the table. It was easy to see that people were being genuine. Although the conference focused on the Secret Space Program and Breakaway Civilizations, people found out about that topic from a myriad of avenues. That was very fascinating. People came at it from a financial point of view, from the environment angle, from space [obviously], from technology, from education, and even a philosophical or existential point of view, and thensome.
What does this event have in common with the Holiday season? Atmosphere.
The atmosphere was what the people chose it to be – that made all the difference in the world. That fact alone was worth the travel.
The question is: Why do most people choose to only be friendly during the holidays, but forgo that option during a large portion [most?] of the remaining of the year? Ponder about that for a minute.
If the holidays are the holidays because the atmosphere that is generated by people, then why couldn’t people do that all the time? Why couldn’t people live more potent, friendly, interesting lives then what they currently do? Why couldn’t we all meet more neighbors instead of all living in our abodes and logging most of our interaction through online venues?
Seems like we are only a choice away from much better times. Isn’t that interesting?
It would be a reasonable to presume that if most [not even all] people took this type of approach to life, everything would be much better. It’s unfortunate that most people get hung up on the differences of others, because it leads to the very environment that we live in where left vs. right issues are fomented daily unfortunately.
Ultimately, a better world is a mere thought away. Seems like a lot of power for individuals to have. That’s the thing, we’ve always had it except most people give it away only acting upon information provided by others such as the media, rather than conclusions that were arrived from personal insight/research.
What better world to live in than that?
Sure seems something to be thankful for, every day and not just when we’re told to be.