Why I will hold the door for strangers…

We live in a world where we get so caught up in our daily routines that we often put blinders on to the outside world.  We don’t notice all that is happening around us.  It may not be intentional, but we generally go from point A to point B with little concern for what lies in the middle.

There are so many moving pieces in our lives both good and bad.  Sometimes we are late for work, or maybe we had a stressful test and are anxious to just get home and relax.  I know I find myself eager to go home and spend time with my family.  I noticed something yesterday when I was walking into my building for class.  I was a bit early so as I took my time strolling in, and its amazing what we notice when we slow life down.  I noticed this kid who must not be a day over 18 come behind me.

I must have watched him out of the corner of my eye walk for a hundred yards as I approached the building and not once did he take his eyes of the ground, dragging his feet with his hands in his pockets. Immediately I remembered that look.  That was me years ago when I walked these same campus streets prior to the military.  That was me during high school when I struggled with my family life.  That was my when I lacked my sense of purpose.  That was me on those days when I lost my friends Chris and Stan.  That was me that day when the Army told me I was medically “unfit for duty”.  That was me.

As I approached the door I waited for him.  As he came to the door I asked him “hey bud, do you happen to know where Bowman is?”  With which his face lit up and said “This is it!  You’re here!”  You would have thought I just told this young man that he won the lottery.  As I opened the door to let him walk in the look in his eyes was one of relief and joy.  His entire mood changed, and honestly so did mine.

I am not telling you this story to tell you how great I am I can assure you that.  I am telling you this because when we slow our lives down just enough to notice our surroundings we give ourselves an opportunity to see the world through a different scope.  I was on the other side of that story for so many years.  I have felt that joy when on a terrible day someone opened a door for me, or took the three seconds to say hello to a stranger.  I have been the one dragging my feet, hands in pockets, with my head down in despair.  We all have at some point of our life.  Take five minutes out of your day to look around you and see where the world may need a little bit more of you.  I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for those people who reached out to me on those days when I felt beaten down and now its my time to reach out.  I am not asking you to donate your house to charity, but answer me this…how hard is it to open the door for the next stranger you see?  Some people may walk right on by without a simple thank you, but for some people it may be the strength they need to get through the toughest days.

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