I think it is important to be open and connect with others, but I struggle to do this consistently. For example, I remember one morning, I was very focused on my work. I had my to-do list ready, and I was intent on crossing everything off. Even during the three minutes I was waiting for my train to arrive and bring me to work, I sat on the bench with my laptop open, hard at work writing some paper.
As I sat typing away, a woman walked up to me and offered me a religious pamphlet. At that point, I had a choice. I could take the opportunity to connect with her. Or I could ignore the opportunity, and move on. I chose the latter option. I waved her off impatiently. She asked if I knew what it was. Again, I waved her off. I’m almost certain I conveyed an annoyed attitude, like I didn’t want to be bothered.
It was a brief interaction, very small compared to everything else that happened to me that day. I went on my way, and so did the woman. However, looking back, I am aware that my interaction with the woman at the train station is quite a bit like my life. I’m usually very busy and focused on the things I need to get done for me. Because I’m so focused on myself, I sometimes miss out on opportunities. Maybe it’s an opportunity to learn something from someone. Perhaps it’s an opportunity to love or serve someone in need. Maybe it’s an opportunity to make a new friend. An opportunity to relate, engage, give, receive, and experience our shared humanity.
When I’m open to connecting with others, the world becomes more open to me. There are more possibilities. Today I want to commit to being more open to connecting with others in my daily world. You never know who might be sitting across from you on the train, or how that person might change your life… Unless you’re open.
Discussion: Where in your life could you take a step toward being open to connecting with others?