This I Believe

Edward - Los ANgeles, California
Entered on October 19, 2006

I believe it is very important to be aware of the people that surround our daily lives. We live in a society where it seems odd to say hello to a stranger while walking down the street. Many have isolated themselves from people in their communities they could relate so much to. It’s sad how many tend to ignore everyone they come across their daily schedule, rather than recognize some as their own kind, human beings.

Every winter I go to Guatemala to visit family. A walk to the nearest mini mart in town is so welcoming. Almost every person I come across acknowledges my presence and greets me with a good morning or good afternoon or whatever time of the day it is. The feeling is great. The aura the people and the town have makes you feel like you are part of them; Part of the community, just the way I believe it should be. It’s funny because I visit once a year for about a week and I feel like I’ve lived there my whole life. Just about everyone knows me in Guatemala where as back home in Los Angeles, my presence has seemed to go unnoticed for the past eighteen years.

The other day I drove down with a couple of my friends to the local movie theater. On the way, while I waited at a red light, I happened to make eye contact with another person also waiting. She quickly looked away only to look back a couple of seconds later. The light turned green and as I started to move I decided to say, “Have a good night!” The lady’s facial expression was priceless. Her reaction was that of a person being exposed to something so foreign. How can something so simple be viewed that way?

I believe that being aware of the people around us can make a huge difference in the way we interact with one another in our society. So many moods can be enlightened with a simple, “Hi, how are you doing?” Small communities could possibly grow close together and look out for each other. Wouldn’t that be great? People are like pieces of a puzzle and the community is a huge puzzle, but what’s the point of having the pieces if you aren’t going to put them together?