I feel that most people have very little faith in the human race — definitely less than I do. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a large urban city, one that is particularly known for not being the most accommodating and trusting. I have to admit that I myself tend to approach new people with an air of caution, but I would like to think that I quickly open up to them once I deem them to be harmless.
Many people, I have noticed, aren’t quite as ready to trust others and for that reason refrain from making meaningful connections. We are under the impression that we are only capable of connecting with a handful of select people.
I don’t exactly see why this is; it is true that keeping the amount of close friends to a minimum most often results in a richer social life, but that does not mean that when we meet a complete stranger we cannot at the very least attempt to connect with them on a non-superficial level.
Walking through the streets of Manhattan you will notice two main types of people: those who keep to themselves and wish to avoid interaction — wishing to remain unseen — and those that are unseen, wishing someone would notice them. It’s amazing how lonely a place a city with so many people can become.
I would like to say that it is not our fault and that our defenses automatically flare up because we sense a potential danger, but it’s not as if we are in danger each and every time that we step onto the sidewalk. Maybe in some neighborhoods it may be better to keep to oneself, but even that isn’t for certain.
Danger can present itself just about anytime and anywhere, living each and every day as if the next person that talks to you necessarily wants to harm you is no way to live. Or maybe we are just afraid that the next time someone begins a conversation with us, they must want something?
Well, people most definitely want something if they decide to talk to us. People tend not to do things unless they have a reason for doing it, mainly: to satisfy a need or want. But what exactly are we afraid that they want from us? Do they want to harm us? Maybe, but it’s not likely. Do they want to ask us something? If they do, then what is the harm?
If you do not like the question they ask, you can always walk away or simply say no. People tend to act as if they wish not to be bothered. What exactly are you doing that is so important that you cannot have a 30 second conversation with a stranger? Your iPod has a pause button. Whatever you believe you are running late for most likely can wait another 60 seconds. Maybe you just do not believe that you can benefit from this sort of interaction?
That must be it. You do not want to bother talking to new people because you do not feel that anything that they have to offer is of any use to you. How could you possibly know that unless you talk to them?
If you pass an opportunity to talk to a stranger, you are passing on an opportunity to connect with another human being; you are missing out on the opportunity to acknowledge the existence of another and missing out on your existence being acknowledged by another. It is easy to find yourself feeling lonely from time to time. We all long to connect with another person. Making a meaningful connection has to start somehow — giving people a chance to add to your life is only logical.
This same sort of pattern can be seen when we take a closer look at the way we interact with those that we already have formed some sort of connection with. Most people are afraid to ask for help. There are more than enough examples in each of our lives that we can drag back from memory when needing help, and knowing that we need help, we refused to ask for a helping hand.
This is just another way that we isolate ourselves and attempt to conquer the world single-handedly. What exactly are we trying to conquer? What must we conquer alone that we cannot and would not benefit from conquering with the help of others?
Doing things alone that you could do with the help of others more efficiently and more easily is rather silly; we only do such things in order to feed our egos. Sure, there are some things that each of us has to do on our own — there are battles that we must fight on our lonesome. But life already gives us enough of those moments. There is no reason to add on to our isolation.
We isolate ourselves from the rest of the world and then we complain that we are lonely. Of course you are lonely — you won’t allow yourself to connect with anyone. I often believe human beings are cursed; we essentially live and die alone, yet spend the entirety of our lives trying to make connections — whether it be with other people or with the universe itself.
It’s quite sad really. If you need help, then ask for it. If you do not ask, then you will never receive. Be approachable. Otherwise you could be thwarting those who could help you down the line or possibly even those that could become life-long friends.
Connect with whomever you can — it will make you feel more alive and give you a brighter perspective of the world. Don’t be ashamed to ask for guidance or a favor and don’t say no to a favor if it doesn’t put you in a poor position. Be open to the world and the world will be open to you.
Paul Hudson | Elite.
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