Challenging the Universe

It was a warm afternoon. The sun was setting and the drive-in movie was going to start in half of an hour. David and Greggy have gone to pick up some food at the food stand, while Norm and I went to the local grocery store to pick up some sodas, Canada Dry, Sunkist, and Mountain Dew. And as we were walking back to our truck, there was a voice that cried out to us. “Hey man, you need help? Let me get some of those orange sodas!” I looked over my shoulder, there was another person sitting in their car just relaxing and waiting. I replied, “No thanks, man, we’re all good.” After we got back to our car, I whispered to Norm, “The hell is that guy’s problem?” Norm stood there and gave me a puzzled look, “Why not?” He asked me, “‘Why not’ what?” I replied. “Why not give that guy some sodas? He asked. Why must we always observe these things in a negative manner?” 

I listed several reasons as to why, but I couldn’t find anything for the last question. Soon enough, I asked him, “What made you think like this?” “I’m going to challenge the Universe.” He tells me. “I’m going to test whether or not that ‘being Good’ thing really works.” “You mean ‘Karma’, but you can’t do this for the sake of trying to get better things for you, that’s not how it works.” I explain to him. “Oh, I know, and trust me, that’s not why I’m saying this, I’m just going to challenge the Universe, see if I can change something, try to be positive and good towards other people. Why not give to that guy?” 

I reply, “That’s not challenging the Universe, that’s challenge yourself. Or if you will, challenging the Universe within yourself.” “Yeah yeah yeah, something like that.”

Moments later, I took 2 orange sodas and walked towards the man who called out to me, “You still want those sodas?” As I stretched out my hand, he starts sounding surprized, “Hey man, I didn’t think you’d do it, I was only playin’.” “It’s all good, man.” I say to him. And as I walked away, I didn’t feel the Universe changing or shifting to the challenge presented by my brother, but his words of changing the way one views things stuck with me.

It’s true, I took the guy’s random request as a problem with him, “Who is he to ask this of me? I paid for this, not him.” But how often are we asked by God and SO many others to give, I mean really, what are two soda cans to me? Heh, looking back, I feel pretty stupid being stingy for something as trivial as not sharing soda with someone else. Now, I’m thinking about what else I haven’t shared that are worth more than two cans…

Heh, ‘challenge the Universe’… I often tell the girls in response to them telling me that they’re bored, “There are two Universes, one, outside your window, and the other inside you. Pick one.” I’ll never know what would become of the guy who asked me, come to think of it, I didn’t even get a good look, thanks to the setting sun, but at least for me, this is something shifting in my Universe, I’m going to try to give more. Of what little I have in my possession, I need to learn to give freely, because in the end, “God giveth and taketh away” so who am I to horde for myself when God has given everything to me?

Sometimes, I wonder how hypocritical I am…

And this is my challenging the Universe. I will let go of these negative emotions, and give whenever someone asks it of me. Who knows? Maybe the next person asking me for something is Christ himself. Heh, if that’s a possibility, I better make sure I give freely to everyone, otherwise I’m in trouble. 

What People Will Always Remember

Days ago, the world lost Maya Angelou. And upon her death, I remembered the only quote that ever stuck with me:

people will forget what you said and what you did, but people will always remember how you make them feel

Days ago, I was experimenting with means of communication, specifically, seeing how effective being direct with others would be. In my mind, I thought being direct would be most efficient, “do this. “ok, but which this or that?” “do that, then.” Done and done.

Oh, how wrong I was…

What I thought was being efficient and direct was being received as mean, disrespectful, hostile, and overall speaking with an attitude.

In essence, my being direct made things worse, communicatively

People have a wide range of assumptions and expectations, feelings and tolerances, and there is a huge gap for things to get vastly mistranslated.

People indeed need things to be clear, but not direction or even words, what people need most is to have clear feelings and intentions coming from one another. A smile, a kind gesture, even a slight touch, with gentleness and a loving heart, can penetrate any sort of mean demeanor one can possess. 

Heh, looking back, it was kinda silly of me to think that being direct and otherwise emotionless, would result in anything but utter disaster. 

No, people will always remember the way they feel whenever they’re around you, whether it’s feeling like you’re needed, loved, disrespected, or even hated. Which is probably why once a bond of trust with someone is broken, it’s hard to regain it, because they’ll always remember that feeling of betrayal.

So in order to truly conquer the hearts of others, it’s not by force or fear, but with love. If we can learn to be compassionate towards others, we can help them, guide them, and even teach them to help others. 

Heh, it’s like the Sun and North Wind all over again. It’s funny how much power lies in a smile towards someone. If you do it long enough, they won’t remember the act of you smiling at them, but the feeling that you are smiling with them.