You’ve heard it before: We have more modes of communication than ever before, but we are more disconnected. We have more mobility, but we feel trapped. We have more stuff than our parents and we need more “storage solutions” just to organize it all, but we are less satisfied. With our high-tech world, we can easily wall ourselves off from any others that are different or challenge our thinking. Loneliness abounds. What are we missing?
I have found an amazing secret that has many, many unexpected benefits. Chief among these is having the satisfaction of knowing your positive effects on the people around you.
The simple act of going out of my way to be kind to the strangers in my life—and there are many, even in a small town, is packed with joy. Nowadays people don’t even know their neighbors anymore because of the above-mentioned isolation and false intimacy that characterize this modern world. Many broken people are right under our noses or at least within arm’s reach, but we chose to not notice.
What happened to basic hospitality? How about taking some fresh baked cookies to the new neighbors on the block? Don’t talk yourself out of the idea—I promise you they will welcome you, even if they are on a diet! A simple act such as this is so disarming and almost always is a positive experience for everyone. Try it and see.
Is someone is having problem with their vehicle or looks a little lost somewhere? Ask yourself, “How would you like to be treated?” We think we are too busy to take the time to do anything anymore that does not directly and immediately benefit ourselves. What a loss.
Be a little more generous with your time. Break the electronic addiction. If you have not seen your neighbor for a while, go over and just tell him you were thinking about him. You have no idea what kind of difference you might make, but you will certainly create some real joy.
The forgotten art of hospitality proves that doing something truly wonderful is often easy and doesn’t cost a fortune. You just have to be willing to try it and see. I heard that on Mother Teresa’s wall there was a framed quote. It said, “The problem in our world is that we draw the circle of family too small.” Well said, Mother Teresa, well said.