After working a long day of customer service, I was pooped and ready to head home to my cozy bed. But before I could make it there, I had to acknowledge that the gas tank had been screaming “low fuel” at me for a few days. So, I stopped at a rather deserted gas station.
As you know, these places sell nothing but cheap fossil fuels, aisles of malnutrition in bar sizes, and are often run by a bored-as-ever work staff. At this particular one, there were even large television screens above each gas tank..Yep. Technology is getting a little crazy these days..
But what stood out the most to me at this place was the lack of soul I exchanged with another human being. It was a male probably in his mid 20s, white, and dressed like he was a member of a college fraternity (I live in a college town, so you see them a lot). We made eye contact briefly as he walked out to his car and I filled up my gas tank. Though I was drained pretty hard, and the lifelessness to his energy seemed like it would be unresponsive, I shot him a kind smile (I typically shoot them at everyone I look at).
Then I felt him shoot back a greater lifelessness, almost as if he had no capacity for receiving compassion. My heart sank a little bit as he walked to his fancy sports car seemingly nonchalant.
I wanted to yell out to this person. I wanted to tell him to look around and see if anything seemed funny about the world we live in–where when we have everything we need materially, we as a society often forget the generosity of the human spirit. I also wanted to tell him that I’m not another girl trying to get with him. I’m not like the girls he probably encounters on the screen or at his nightly parties. I wanted to tell him that just because we are different genders shouldn’t define the level of compassion we could exchange. I wanted to tell him I don’t really care if you’re a male, female, black, white, gold, blue–I’m just a human being who wants the world to be a peaceful place, and my first attempt to make that happen is with a smile.
Now, I’m pretty sure if I had had a little more genuine, animated heart energy in me at that moment to give, I could have got a small smirk back. Regardless, it was just another smack in the face of reality that this happens too often in our world (at least here in the US). We’ve got all of this material crap around us to drive around, wear, or just look at until we get bored and have to buy the next big thing–yet we hardly even stop to acknowledge the fellow spirits around us.
Maybe this guy is not even in a frat, and he just dresses well and had a draining day like me. Either way, my heart is further opened from this experience.
What a crazy world we are born into: where our curious, loving spirits become calcified and often forgotten behind our bodies and material accumulations. Where is the love?