A few things I’ve learned during my time in Boston is: 1. I like making cheesy jokes with strangers. 2. Nobody cares about who you are as much as you do. Basically, you don’t have to hold back in a big city.
The world needs weird people. It doesn’t need more people that look like everyone else. It needs people who encourage random pedestrians. People who make weird dad jokes to waiters. People who don’t just put in their headphones and drown out the world, but look up and enjoy it with those around them. It needs people who actually initiate conversations with those around them! Because the worst thing that can happen is that they think you’re weird and stop responding. God forbid, right?
I mean public transit is way more fun when a stranger makes a joke about how terrible it is. Waiting in line is better when someone makes a sarcastic remark about how fast the line is moving.
So why don’t we do this all the time? If I had to guess it’s because we’re so preoccupied with how people view us. At least for me, I’m constantly analyzing myself in public. “Should I put my headphones in or just stare at my hand?” “What do I even do with my hands?” “Maybe I'll just act like I’m texting so I look busy.”
I had this thought the other day, and this isn’t just some old man trashing on millennials. What if, for a brief moment, we enjoyed where we were at the moment, just for a second. Sure stuff needs to get done and waiting for the bus isn’t exciting, but what if before we put in our headphones we stopped and just thought, “This is cool. The stuff around me is nice, the people around me probably all have interesting stories, and there will never be another *insert date here* like today"
That’s it. Just a hesitation before checking Instagram to enjoy where we are at the moment, physically or in the course of life. Just a moment to enjoy your kids at their age or to appreciate the fact that you can get up from the couch without your back hurting or a moment to see if there’s anyone around you to initiate a conversation with.
Because here’s the truth. People are lonely. Everyone is longing for someone to talk to and be heard. So why not get out of your comfort zone today and this upcoming semester to just look up.
Anyways, back to surfing the internet.