“I regret that it takes a life to learn how to live.”
It seems like we all have to go through so many lessons, trials and struggles.
Does it ever end?
Just when you think you’ve got it figured out, the universe lays the hammer down on you with some new conflict.
But what if there was a shortcut you could take to learn quicker, evolve faster, be happier?
I have stumbled upon a secret, a hidden passageway on the path to fulfillment.
I want to share it with you.
I call it 1:1:1
1 Day. 1 Moment. 1 Person.
…no matter how busy you might be…
…make the time to savor one moment…
…and engage in one meaningful connection with another human being.
That’s it. Just try it. Trust me on this one.
Yesterday I was walking in my local park in NYC, and saw a man in a wheelchair feeding the squirrels.
I see him almost every morning.
But never have I thought to stop and say something.
He saw me standing at a distance and started telling me about all the squirrels clamoring for his peanuts.
I hesitated, but then remembered 1:1:1.
He told me how one such squirrel was courageous enough to crawl onto his lap.
He pointed out another that was pregnant.
He knew the young squirrels based on their behavior and the older ones based on their scars and cuts.
And then he told me how he lost his home, lived in a shelter, was not allowed to plug appliances into the electrical sockets because the shelter was strict about saving energy.
He proceeded to tell me about his back pain, loneliness and everyday struggles.
I left saying, “Have a nice day.”
He responded, “I’ll try,” as if to say that “nice days” don’t come often in his world.
I will see Eric again. Our paths cross almost everyday. There will be opportunities to help Eric. But yesterday, Eric helped me.
I left that encounter feeling more grateful for my most basic freedoms…
… like the use of my legs, the keys to my home, and the ability to plug any appliance into any electric socket any time of any day.
After meeting Eric, the trajectory of my day changed dramatically and the events that ensued could turn out to have a significant impact on my life.
Sometimes, we forget that every human life is a vast constellation of memories, friendships, dreams and defeats.
It takes a certain kind of courage, a certain type of combustion to bust loose from the familiarity of your own existence…
… and enter the mysterious atmosphere of another human being.
Maybe you already have this courage to stay connected with humanity, not in the way of Facebook, but in the way of reaching out and once a day, diving into another’s heart.
And if so, you know way better than me that…
… buried in the stories of strangers like Eric, we can find the keys unlocking our mysteries, the sparks shedding light on our revelations.
The Bhagavad Gita shares the idea that the universe will only take a step toward you, if you first take a step toward the universe.
So consider that the funky dude in the wheelchair, or the random girl in the elevator, or the strange old woman who could use your assistance crossing the street might, just might, have something to share, something you need to know in your soul’s directive on earth.
As Einstein said, “Nothing happens until something moves.”
Editor: Brianna Bemel