Thursday, March 29, 2007

We're All in This Together

We are all connected. We all affect each other. There's a commercial that I love, I don't even know what it's advertising, but it shows one person doing something small and nice for another person. Like a man drops something, and another man picks it up for him. And then I think someone's bike is tipping over so another person grabs it. Little things like that. It gives you the impression that you can spread kindness and compassion from one stranger to another.

Sort of like that terrible Pay It Forward movie where the nice kid dies at the end. Who wants to be nice if some weirdo ends up shooting you? Great message there...

It's true, I think, that strangers can affect each other's moods in little ways. If a stranger happens to say or do something out of the ordinary, it can brighten my day. On the other hand, if a stranger is unnecessarily harsh, that feeling can stick with me throughout the day too.

It works the same with friends. I had a terrible day on Tuesday. But a friend of mine needed some advice, I gave it, she took it and it really helped. And that made me feel useful and of value to the world. It may sound silly that I needed reminding, but that day, I did. And, like strangers, friends can also put a damper on your day and can spread their bad mood to you.

When that happens, I usually blame myself. That's my unhealthy reaction to everything. Though sometimes, it's valid. Is it my fault that I let myself be affected by someone else's mood? But aren't close friends supposed to feel each other like that? I don't know. I sometimes feel like there's something wrong with me. I take things too personally, I'm too sensitive. And that is true some of the time. Though not all the time.

The fact is that I know what my needs are. I've been able to work with people when I understand what they need. I had a boyfriend who used to have a hard time putting thoughts and feelings into words (ok how many boyfriends like that are there?!). But I knew that he would be able to, he just needed time to work through it all. I understood his needs, and though that wasn't what I would have preferred, I could work with that because I cared for him and wanted to meet his needs.

I know my needs. And though it may be unreasonable, I expect people to work with them. It's the give and take of compromise that has to really be worked out, though. Can I give up on this one thing or this one time because it's what someone else needs? And can they for me? I think things are okay as long as everything is reciprocal. You have to take care of yourself and the other person, though.

Everything is like that, isn't it? All give and take, push and pull, back and forth. We are all connected. And because of that, we've got to do our best to help each other and spread kindness and love. I try very hard not to let that happen, though I'm sure like everyone I make mistakes. I have a tough job, and some days are really rough, but I try not to bring others down too. All we can do is try. But we have to. We have to try.

Music says it better than I ever could...

woke up this morning
i suddenly realized
we're all in this together
i started smiling
cos you were smiling
and we're all in this together
i'm made of atoms
you're made of atoms
and we're all in this together
and long division
just doesn't matter
cos were all in this together

i saw you walking
in the city
we're all in this together
the city's changing
cos we are changing
and we're all in this together
every twelve seconds
someone remembers
that were all in this together
in the kitchen
of your rent-control apartment
we're all in this together

c'mon baby
i don't mean to rush you
i only wanted to reach out and touch you
i've gotta start to open my heart

i know you think
about jumping ship before it sinks
but we're all in this together
ask a scientist
its quantum physics
we're all in this together
and on the subway
we feel like strangers
but we're all in this together
yeah i love you and you love her
and she loves him
but we're all in this together

ya know baby
there's never been protection
in all the history of human connection
c'mon darling
it's alright to show me
you don't ever need to be lonely
once you start to open your heart

i saw you crying
i started crying
cos we're all in this together


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