Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Hitchhiker

I don't often allow people to radically affect my feelings, my attitude, or my thoughts on life and how to live it, but here we go again, a stranger doing absolutely nothing and re-awakening all of those things. It's been days now since I passed the hitchhiker who bowed his head after I, and so many others, silently drove by pretending not to notice his presence. My crippling fear from watching too many crime shows was my only deterrent, of course. Looking back, I wish more than anything that I would have stopped. As I peered through my rearview mirror, I watched the sadness in his face as he lowered his head and kept walking unsuccessfully. A part of me wishes I could just let it go, move on and erase the whole scenario from my mind. The other part of me is hoping I never forget the feeling I had knowing that I didn't help someone who was probably truly in need.

It's a sad reality that the majority of us are constantly living in fear of the unknown, which undoubtedly leads to less risk taking and more of us doing absolutely nothing as we watch people, experiences and life pass us by. We're so intimidated by doing the right thing, helping people out, and being up front and honest in how we feel, simply because we fear the outcome. We're too busy being selfish and content in our own lives, that we often forget to see the struggles in others.

I may be naive in saying this, but I have to believe that the majority of people have good intentions. After all, what do you have if you have little faith in the people who surround your daily life? So... I've made a pact to myself to be less judgmental, to take more risks, and to always be honest in how I feel. Most of all, I've promised myself to believe that in the end, most people are inherently good. Had I not had a few encounters with "meaningless" people in seemingly "meaningless" situations, I can assure you that my life would be very different than it is right now. Sometimes you have to do close to nothing to dramatically make an impact on someone's life, and that makes all the little unknowingly helpful things you do worth it, right? So, I strongly urge you to skip your overpriced latte and give your money to the needy person on the street. What's the worst outcome? They use your 5 dollars to buy beer? Who cares. At least they know how to have fun. And at least you're not fueling your self-inflicted caffeine overdose to help profit another majorly corrupt company who eagerly charges 5 plus dollars for a mediocre addictive beverage. Best case scenario? You just bought a person who hasn't eaten in days a nice hearty sandwich.  Additionally, I urge you to:

  • Dedicate your day to making other people smile. It will do wonders for your heart and soul. 
  • Send someone a card. In the mail. Just because
  • Always say what you mean, and mean what you say. People are incredibly fragile whether they like to admit it or not.
  • Volunteer. You'll never regret it. 
  • Tell the people you love that you love them. Every. Single. Day. 
  • Never go to bed angry. Your mind and body deserve a peaceful sleep. And tomorrow you'll feel rested, happy and ready to conquer a new day. 
  • Do things that scare you often. You'll never learn and grow otherwise. 
  • Become smarter. Read, write, and think daily. 
  • Listen more. Talk less. 
  • Spend your money and experience things. You can't take it with you when you die. 
  • Be true to yourself and how you feel. You're not fooling anyone by pretending to be happy. 
  • And just pick up the hitchhiker.
Remember... this world is a better place because you're in it. Use your life to leave an everlasting mark on this earth. As always, peace and love <3. 

2 comments:

  1. I spent the summer hitchhiking all over the United States, but completely by choice as a way to meet people and travel economically. I'm glad you recognized the fact that people have good intentions, because most all folks (particularly hitchhikers) are harmless. I was there by choice, many who hitch are not, but either way, we need a ride! The good news is, someone probably came right along within a short time and picked up the dude. For every hundred that pass by, there's that person, the right person, who is supposed to pick up that guy, and they will. I'm glad you've decided that you can be that "right person" next time. Even if the guy (or gal) is a bit smelly, I think you'll find it rewarding that you helped out a stranger.

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  2. What an awesome experience. Yeah, it was truly eye opening. I will never be the passerby again. Helping people is our greatest gift, and I have every intention of using it in the next situation that presents itself :). Thanks for reading and for commenting. I really appreciate it.

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