So, here’s a random fact about me. I smile at every single person I make eye contact with, everywhere I go. Sometimes, I smile at them like a creep UNTIL they make eye contact with me. A lot of time this results in women pulling their children closer and picking up the pace of their step while nervously glancing back over their shoulders at me… However, I feel like it’s important. I feel like this world has become SO accustomed to having tunnel vision, walking in a straight, deliberate line, focused only on what they are doing now, and sometimes what they are doing next at the same time.

We forget that the whole purpose of life, whether you believe it or not, is to love, and be good to those around you.  We become laser focused on getting from point A to point B, on working our a***es off so that we can afford to keep lights on, focused on saying the right things, being in the right places, at the right times, that we forget to STOP. Look around. Take a BIG deep breath of fresh air and be in the moment. We forget that we only have ONE shot at life, there are no do-overs…We forget to relax, be still, be present, and we forget, that it’s nice to acknowledge, and smile at the fellow human beings hustling and bustling alongside us on this planet.

Which brings me to another random fact about myself….

I am constantly trying to improve. I have the brain of an addict, which means my thought process takes a zig zaggy course, in comparison to most.  Therefore it is imperative that I remain diligent in self-awareness.

So I have a little trick I use while going about my day and I’d like to share it with you, because I whole heartedly believe that if you try it, it just may mean the difference between you having a good day, and a bad day……You have to use your imagination and be open minded, but if you take the time to do it, it could potentially change EVERYTHING.

The next time someone is driving slow in front of you, instead of allowing yourself to begin filling with rage, instead of becoming shaky, and screaming inside your car, releasing toxic energy into the universe, take a breath and think about the person driving that car.

What if…..hear me out, what IF, they are in town for their fathers funeral, they have their Gps on and it’s taking them in the wrong direction.  Their heart is shattered into a million pieces and now they are lost, in a strange town. They have slowed their pace in an attempt to locate the correct street.  By happenstance, you are the car traveling behind them.  You can either ride their a**, be a jerkface and add to the already overwhelming anxiety they are feeling, or you can just be f***ing cool and let it go.

You have a choice.

The next time you see a homeless guy on the side of the road.  Observe his clothes, they are probably torn, with signs of extended wear.  Maybe he has shoes on, maybe he’s barefoot. Witness his face, leathery and dark, from years of having no shelter, no walls to protect him, no roof to shield him from the harsh rays of the sun. His hair, probably disheveled and unkempt, most likely hasn’t felt the sensation of hot, soapy water  flowing through it, cascading down his skin, washing away the filth of a long day, in longer than you can imagine.  Most will scoff at his presence from the comfort of their air conditioned vehicle. Most will say something along the lines of “Get a f***ing job you bum.  It’s your own fault”…..While it may seem obvious to us that an income may improve his situation, there are circumstances surrounding his life which we have no knowledge of.

Instead of mocking, belittling and judging this person, imagine them as a child.  Imagine him running alongside his dog, tossing a stick off into the distance while gleefully giggling, his face to the sky, not knowing that the beautiful rays of sunshine illuminating this glorious day for him, will one day beat down on his face until it’s virtually unrecognizable to those who know him. Imagine him in high school, leaned casually up against a set of metal lockers, smiling and conversing with his love interest about the upcoming basketball game while his heart pounds to the beat of teenage love..  Maybe he went on to join the service, risking his life for our country, only to come home broken inside.  Unsure of how to cope with the ghastly images forever imprinted into his fragile mind, he turns to alcohol and it takes ahold of him…. and never lets it go.

Once you have imagined all this. Look at him again. Look at him with fresh eyes and a new perspective. Be kind. Wave to him. Acknowledge him.  Say a prayer for him. But whatever you do, don’t be hateful…

The next time someone pulls out in front of you causing you to lean on the brakes to avoid colliding with the back of their car, instead of exclaiming “Sonofab*** ! Learn how to drive a**hole!”… just chalk it up as a mistake, and let it go. Don’t allow one moment in time to rob you of your peace of mind.  I’m certain you yourself have pulled out in front of others, only to find them accelerating in an attempt to make you feel pressured to speed up…let it go.

The next time a server brings you your meal, and it’s not exactly what you had in mind, instead of making her feel like she just murdered a baby kitten in the middle of a daycare center….politely ask for a replacement and assure her that she is wonderful and mistakes happen.

The next time you want to roll your eyes at the man in front of you for taking forever to purchase his cigarettes with dimes and nickels, be grateful that you have a wallet containing dollar bills and do not have to deal with the shame associated with having to hold up a line while a disdainful cashier meticulously counts out 5 dollars worth of your change.

The next time you are at the grocery store and there is a woman behind you and your cart full of overflowing groceries in line, and she is merely holding eggs and milk, request she takes your place in line. Why? Because its a cool thing to do and 3 extra minutes won’t kill you.

The next time someone steals your parking spot, park a few spaces down, get a little  fresh air and exercise. Be grateful that you have working legs to walk you up to the store.

The next time you wake up in the morning, cursing out at the sky because you don’t want to work today and wish you could just stay home and do nothing, remember there are people who would LOVE to be able to work and afford to have things. They instead live on the side of a street, with leathery skin, tattered clothing and no shoes, getting ridiculed day in, and day out…..

Change your perspective..

Be aware of your surroundings…

Pick your battles…

Be kind…

Be gracious…

Be cool….

And the next time you want to be an a**hole……don’t.