I consider myself a people person.
I like people.
They spark my curiosity, and I want to know their stories.
What made them think a certain way about something?
Who were their parents?
What have they seen?
What joys have they known? What pains?
Sometimes this is easier with strangers than with those we love — at least this is the case for me.
I’ve been accused of being too accepting. People tell me I attract “oddballs.” I suppose I find unconventional souls a bit more intriguing. Bland is harder to stomach, yet there’s curiosity there as well.
The holidays are upon us. I’m thinking about family members — fundamentalists, Trump supporters, drunks, gun lovers. We’ll be dining together. I’ll be gnawing my tongue and balancing when to speak up and when to take more of a passive, compassionate approach.
I’m going to start collecting mantras now:
Peace begins with me.
We don’t have to think alike to love alike
But it’s a hell of a lot easier, don’t you think?!
I love the following by Ram Dass. I have a printed copy on display near my desk:
When you go out into the woods and you look at trees, you see all these different trees.
And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever.
And you look at the tree and you allow it.
You see why it is the way it is.
You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way.
And you don’t get all emotional about it.
You just allow it.
You appreciate the tree.
The minute you get near humans, you lose all that.
And you are constantly saying ‘You’re too this, or I’m too this.’
That judging mind comes in.
And so I practice turning people into trees.
Which means appreciating them just the way they are.
Who are you turning into a tree this holiday season?