I think I’ve had quite my share of strange experiences for my 34 years. I sometimes wonder how these experiences have shaped me in ways that I’m not cognizant of. I consider myself a very sensitive soul, perceptive of other’s emotions and feelings, and I deeply care about other people. Everyone we come across leaves some sort of impression upon us, in varying degrees that we might not be aware of. The stranger that smiles at you, or the friend who is struggling with a problem, they all leave some imprint of energy on us, good and bad.
When I was 12, I remember going to bed and leaving my window open for some fresh air. Shortly thereafter I heard a car screeching to a halt, a man pleading for his life, one gunshot, then silence. When I was in my early 20s, I found a man on trail that had shot himself in the head. He was still breathing, but died shortly afterwards at the hospital. He had suffered a lifetime of depression and called it quits. Not long after that I found a woman who had taken a lethal dose of heroine, she lay with her wedding photo on her chest. Then there was the time seeing a man on his hands and knees while a gun was held to the back of his head. In all these circumstances, the feelings I can recall were of extreme desperation. The people in the situations were desperate, some for relief from pain, some for their lives. Thoreau was correct in saying, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” I have wondered about the loneliness those people felt in those moments, the loneliness in their desperation. The man pleading for his life but found no one to help him. The man taking his life alone on the trail, he had family, but was alone in his despair. The woman with the wedding photo, I never found out her story, but she died alone, her wedding photo clearly a reminder of something she once held dear. The man on his hands and knees, well that’s a long story with a bizarre twist.
The underlying theme through all of this, again loneliness and desperation; a sad, but common tale. The truth is that none of us are ever actually alone, although we might feel that we are. With my Judeo-Christian belief, I know that God is always with me and aware of me. But I want to point out that we are also never truly alone because if you looked at this world with such refined vision as to see it on a molecular level, you would see there we are all connected to this world and each other. There is no separation between you and me - where your atoms end and mine begin. This is something Hindu mystics have long understood, the interconnectedness of everything. When you hurt, I hurt, and vice versa. The effects of violence, cruelty, and suffering reverberate throughout the world like ripples in a pond, eventually reaching all of us. What more need do we have in doing good knowing that what we send out in the world will ripple its way back to us. If all one can do in starting to spread goodness begins with a self-centered desire to not recur their own wrath, well at least that is a start.
Our thoughts and feelings leave impressions on others. Life is difficult enough for all of us; let’s not add to others' grief with negative thoughts let alone negative actions. Your thoughts about others have a very real affect on them as well as yourself. We can’t compel other people to change their thoughts and actions, but we can change ourselves, and that has very real consequences. If we all changed our thoughts to love for others, perhaps those sinking in despair and loneliness would eventually feel the ripple of positive energy, maybe it would give them a glimmer of hope, enough for one minute to change the trajectory of their existence. Perhaps those wishing to harm others might for one second rethink their actions. After all, those wishing harm to others really are just experiencing their own form of desperation that they are unwilling to acknowledge or confront.
We are all connected, though not all are in-tuned to see and feel it. If you focus, feel, and listen with your spirit, you will perceive it.