Looking back it seems so easy; befriend a stranger…change your life. That’s how true change begins you know, when you step outside yourself and reach out to another, never once expecting anything in return.
Many of us want a better job, more money, a nicer home. I didn’t want any of that; I wanted peace. Somewhere along my life-path, I had sectioned each day into compartmentalized appointments. Each morning I awoke, gathered the “To-do” list I had written down the night before, and wasted the day completing unfinished (often times unimportant) tasks. Woe be unto anyone who threw a kink in my schedule. Then my daughter saw a simple sign on the side of the road.
Now I know what you’re thinking. How can baby goats change your life? Give me two minutes to explain. I turned to my daughter and snapped, “you have three minutes.”
Even now the comment is ridiculous.
She nodded knowing I was going to fuss when we arrived late for her tennis lesson. We tumbled out of the car and met a man who I am certain was Betsy Lewin’s inspiration for Doreen Cronin’s Click Clack Moo series. The man in front of me could have been Farmer Brown’s twin brother.
Seventy-seven-year old Farmer Billy extended his hand. I extended mine. He stepped into my bubble. I step back. In Atlanta we don’t allow people in our personal space. We introduced ourselves and that day, change began.
Like it or not, we live in an “instant world.” Technology at our fingertips has made some things convenient; however, deep down we know that sitting in front of the computer, hands on hard, plastic keys, isn’t the same as wrapping our arms around a friend. I submit we have become instantly alone; texting instead of talking, tweeting instead of holding hands. We have lost our way.
Rediscovering our true self doesn’t happen inside the safety of our home. Nor does it happen instantly; finding our true self happens when we give our time away, sometimes to a stranger.