Hello! My dear friend has allowed me the privilege to be a guest on her tumblr. :) And so today, Wednesday of all days, I will talk about bubbles. Now, when I speak of bubbles, I speak not of the soapy circles of multi-coloured glory. Instead, I speak of the circle of protection human beings place among themselves. Now it may just be a north american trait, and not a normal human one, but nonetheless, it exists. And so here my story begins.
Today as I was waiting in the hallway of my school I felt amusingly alienated. How is this, you may ask. I had been sitting there for some time waiting for my class to begin so I could speak with my professor, and had been thoroughly enjoying looking at the window at the people below me. As more and more people crowded around, waiting for the previous class to be finished, it came to my attention that not only was I the only one not on my cell phone, but that i was the only one not pretending that the people around me did not exist. Yet i knew I existed and therefore found the way they were acting quite amusing. This made me inquire about several “normal” human activities we do on a daily basis. a) Our cell phones are so important that we must have them in our hands, on our laps, or on the table in front of us at all times. b) How is it anyone has any friends if we restrict ourselves to talking to only the people who play immediate roles in our lives? c) Only talking to the people who play the most immediate roles in our lives is SO BORING!
Not speaking with your average “stranger” also has many other implications. Have you ever been in a crowd of people and felt completely and utterly alone? I know I have. In fact I walked through most of my life that way. It is a terrible existence, lonely, sad, cynical… A while back I came to the conclusion that other people, in fact several other people, have had similar experiences to what I have had, and could empathize with what I was going though. Break down that bubble of protection in your average human being and you will find strength, pain, and incredible experience. And with that experience comes the ability to help others going through similar experiences.
When we close ourselves off in this “bubble” we not only chain ourselves shut to other people, we chain our feelings, emotions, experiences, and knowledge from the world. Well lemme tell you something. EVERY SINGLE PERSON HAS AMAZING VALUE IN THEMSELVES. What I mean by that is each individual looks at the world through a different perspective. That perspective is valuable and should be cherished, as it is the best part of every single human being. When we close ourselves off to others, we close off the very best part of ourselves, and we close off the best part of those around us.
I understand that removing this bubble completely would leave us all vulnerable to one another, and very few people are ok with that. Thus said, I challenge you, dear reader, as I challenge myself, to acknowledge our fellow human being. This means making eye contact and smiling as we walk past them, holding doors open, and maybe, just maybe, talking to the person sitting next to us, waiting for class to start. I know its scary, but when you allow a little bit of yourself to show to others, it can make a huge difference in their lives as well as your own.
Often, we just need to be reminded that we exist, that we are unique, that we are cared about and not forgotten. Become aware of your bubble, alter it, be brave, and allow yourself to shine through it.
Dear reader, know that you are important to me, that you exist, and that I care.
13. Never allow not knowing someone stop you from caring about them.