9.08.2009

"To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all." -Oscar Wilde

Does it ever freak you out thinking about how many people exist, have existed, and will exist in this world? The billions and billions of people that you will never meet… The thousands that have lived in the same city with you your entire life who you stroll past at the grocery store… the amount of people that you have spent a few minutes next to at a stop light… Isn’t it just mind boggling that SO many people live in this world? And there you are… existing… in your own little world… in your own little family… in your own little circle of friends. And there everyone else is… existing… in their world.

Something I’ve noticed lately is that most of us (and myself) are scared to open our world and let it merge with others. The big question is “why?” I’m not talking about sharing your life story with complete strangers… just sharing those small moments… when you say hello in passing, or a small conversation while waiting in line at the check-out, or letting someone in your lane during rush hour. It’s funny that we restrict ourselves to our own world… funny that we think our world is the most important…

Out of all those billions and billions of people that exist, have existed, and will exist, we, surprisingly, all have one thing in common… we all came into this world exactly the same way—conceived with sperm and egg, born in different cities, but all born to this place called Mother Earth. And that’s when our stories begin--every one completely different. We make choices, our parents make choices… we find ways to survive—successful or not…

And another thing I believe we have in common is at one point or another, we decide we want to love and be loved. We want to connect with others… we want to say, “Look into my eyes and let’s share our worlds just for a moment.” Out of all the differences that exist in the world, love seems to be a commonality.

It seems as we get older we lose that desire to love others... maybe because of broken hearts, past experiences, hurt feelings... we end up restricting ourselves to our own world... restricting ourselves from love.

Lately, I’ve wondered why I restrict myself... why I avoid looking at people in the eye. Is it fear? Fear of what? I have absolutely nothing to lose. I have only connections to gain, something to learn, stories to see, and billions of people to meet and love!

When I was in San Francisco we were waiting at a street corner for the light to change. A tall African-American man was playing some insanely awesome percussion on a make-shift drum set consisting of garbage cans and plastic barrels. I joined the crowd surrounding him. A small child was in front of the crowd obviously amazed by the music. The man invited the child to come play with him. He handed the child an extra pair of drum sticks and they pounded away--the child so very excited. I then looked into the man's eyes. He had the biggest smile illuminating his face. Right then I thought, "Look how happy he is. He might not have anything else but this drum set and the clothes on his back, but he knows how to be happy." He might not have everything figured out in his world, but he has found one thing that most of the world spends a lifetime looking for.

We all have our differences, struggles, passions, dreams… I just wonder why we sometimes think our stories are the only ones that matter.

I’ve decided that I’m not going to restrict myself from hearing other’s stories. I’m going to look at people in the eye and smile.

Can we all do something?
Can we share happiness?
The world needs it.

I've decided I'm done just existing. I'm going to LIVE!!
Who's with me?




Did you get Ingrid's new album yet?

This song is very fitting.






14 comments:

Shrope said...

first one to comment and to say, Jalene you amaze me and I think thats what I like most about you. Amazing!

Nicole Leigh said...

I LOVE this!
I'm with you!

Sarah Alaoui said...

I am IN LOVE with this post. I always think about this as well....also, I like to think about how crazy it is that there are SO MANY people in the world, yet we ALL look so different. it's crazy. i mean how many nose/chin/jaw/eye/etc combinations are there??
Permutate that! :)

Lindsay Kay said...

Absolutely. The key to happiness is not to have what you want, but to want what you have. Life is already beautiful, we just make the choice whether to enjoy it or not. I love people! Aren't we lucky that they are EVERYWHERE!? :) Spread the love!

Chess said...

Mmmm... that was beautiful! Just perfect with the way I feel today. (Which is very, very happy!). I love that story about the drummer and the child. I think the happiness in their eyes is yet another reason why we are supposed to "become as little children."

Because children aren't afraid. They aren't afraid to smile at you, to talk to you, to love you. Somehow that perfect, heavenly instinct is trained and taught out of them. It's such a crime, but I think that if every person chooses to LIVE like you said, we can bring that desire to share, to serve one another, that ability to love perfectly--we can bring it back!

siovhan said...

me. i am with you. i refuse to simply exist. i want to live. i want to be able to look back when i'm 70 and say hot dang. look at everything i LIVED through! everything i did!

Melissa said...

So well said. It's crazy when you stop to think about all the people you encounter on a daily basis without even thinking about it.

Whitney said...

I am with you! I come to this realization every so often that there is so much more out there that I could be participating in if I would just let go of the fear. You're amazing. I like you very much.

Carlita said...

brilliant. and i've never gotten into Ingrid... but that song was perfect for this post and for today. gracias

7upkels said...

wow. if that wasn't inspiring, i dont know what is!

OceanDreams said...

I am with you and I love love Ingrid's new album. I am hooked and actually going to her concert with my roomie soon, yipee!

Heather K. said...

Hey, I found your blog through RockStar Diaries and love it. This post was great...so inspiring and so true. I'm a huge believer in eye contact and smiling, it is hard, but so rewarding in the end. I've noticed when you smile at people, the majority smile back. Only a certain few, will continue to frown. I want to follow those people and continue smiling right in their face, but that would just be creepy.

Fashionably Kate said...

perfect song for this great post!!

Anonymous said...

I think I'm in love