We girls viewed You Tube’s, “Strangers in a Ball Pit,” which went viral.
In an unknown city, a ball pit, large enough for two adults, was randomly placed on a sidewalk with a huge sign above it: “Jump in and make a friend”.
To recap a four minute video, perfect strangers “jumped in” and began talking, with the aid of some balloons also in the pit, which carried questions to stimulate conversation between the individuals so they could find a “common”.
In the end, they were to make a secret handshake. They parted company, having made a new friend. No politics. It was refreshing, and yet sad.
Sad that we have so tightly constructed barriers around ourselves that we miss out on the humanity of others, mostly because of our personal, political, ethnic or religious convictions and biases.
I am not pointing fingers here; I include myself in this assessment.
As big fans of the movie, “Pay it Forward,” we girls decided it was high time this country put some moxie where its mouth is: we would like to conduct an experiment. Look strangers in the eye when crossing paths, and smile or say “hi”.
Carry a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the car so when you see a homeless person asking for help, you can give him a meal…though I’ve never understood why “giving money” is so bad; maybe it’s the few who ruin it for the many who actually want to buy a meal.
Wave to your sanitation collector when he picks up your trash (I actually did this, and had to do it twice before I received a wave in return – so shocked, I believe, was the collector).
Leave home-baked cookies in your mailbox for your postal carrier. We all know they could use some joy in their day. When your server tells you his/her name in a restaurant – pay attention. Calling them by name is so much nicer and more polite than calling, “hey.” None of these tips will cost you anything but a piece of your own humanity. We’ve become so oriented to just throwing money to one cause or another that we forget to be human.
We wonder, “Why does it take a national crisis for everyone to pull together?”
Remember the non-partisan support for our country during the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the assassination of President Kennedy, or the tragedy of September 11, 2001?
Try a random act of kindness on someone, and watch his reaction. Maybe that person will think to pay it forward to another. Work toward a better understanding of your fellow man, jump into that ball pit!
See you next Tuesday!