Passing Each Other, July 6, 2018 Daily Reflection

My walking shoes

I put my right earbud into my ear and set up my Fitbit watch, turn on my podcast and I am off for my morning walk. At 8:00 am it is already 85 degrees. My feet move quickly from pavement to the loose gravel of the park paths, that pea gravel that inevitably finds its way into the back of my sock, that gravel that causes me to stop, lean over, search it out and scoop it free.

I walk through the park and notice the others sweating as well. Some are trying to regain their breath. Most look past me. Some say hi, wave and acknowledge my existence. Most are plugged in with ear buds, in their own worlds as we pass each other on the park paths. Some walk or run in pairs steeped in deep conversations, others laugh and enjoy each other’s company. It’s funny how there are so many of us repeatedly passing on these paths and we know nothing about one another. We judge each other from our actions, outward appearances, and signs of communication. Sometimes, we don’t judge we simply pass each other with absolutely no thought what so ever of one another, that is even worse, it’s like we don’t exist. Strangers walking, running, around each other but not with each other. In our own private worlds, keeping a distance that we hope will never intersect with the other. After all, we are there to work out not to make friends. We are about accomplishments not new friendships. I wonder what brought us to this place?

We do this in our individual cars too. We are so comfortable and independent in our car. We listen to our music, talk show, or podcast. We keep the temperature just right for us. We drink our preferred drinks and even keep the car smelling the way we like it best. We move about the streets of our towns in our car. We stop at lights and rarely look at the people around us. The cars become cars with no drivers or individuals. We don’t look at them with people inside only as automobiles that are in the way of our gaining a few extra minutes on the way to where we are going.

It all springs from individualism. We don’t share enough. We don’t have to. We don’t have enough compassion. It is not required. We don’t connect enough. We don’t know how. From our convenience and comfort we have lost the perceived need for community and we go it alone. This way of life will one day break us. We are a creature that was created to live in community. However, at this moment in time we can’t feel that need yet. One day it will happen and we will wonder what is it that we are lacking… as we pass each other on the paths.

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