Aysia and I were in NYC seven years back, strolling through Central Park. We saw this woman with two empty chairs and a sign, saying, “Wanna Talk? Conversation, One Dollar.”
Not a bad price.
I sat down and dug into my pocket, gracing her palm with the full fee in cash, no money down.
I took the lead by asking her why and what the hell she she was doing? She said she got tired of complaining about how everyone seemed to be staring at their screens these days, instead of looking up and being present to each other. And she decided to do something positive about it, instead of complaining, like lighting a candle instead of cursing the darkness.
How cool is that?
Aysia and I spent fifteen minutes of quality time with this woman. She was genuinely interested in us, especially Aysia. She asked questions brimming with caring and curiosity, and listened with the kind of energy that can only come from an open heart.
When I was a child I was taught to be afraid of strangers. But here was this woman reaching out to strangers and creating moments of authentic human connection.
Maybe a stranger is just someone you feel strange with. And maybe, when your heart is open, there is no such thing as a stranger.
Aysia at seven year old was my self-esteem teacher, making friends instantly. How she trusted human nature! She loved picking up little girls she just met and lifting them off the ground.
Now she is more careful, more guarded, as 14 year olds tend to be.
I want my daughter to grow up in an up-lifting and non-violent world, but, as a teenager, she is gradually finding out it is not.
It is populated with people who are out of touch with their loving and lovable selves. Yet it also has many more humans, more each day, who are getting in touch with their human nature, lighting candles instead of cursing the darkness.
Aysia will find her way in the world. She has her mother, her step-dad, and her father role modeling love and kindness. Her mother is a nurse who helps bring babies into the world. And Aysia consistently sees me bringing joy to people’s hearts through my music ministry.
As she matures, she will realize that there are many insane people here, people who have forgotten who they are, and that we all are a little insane, or we wouldn’t be here.
Sanity dawns when we light candles instead of cursing darkness.
Once the choice is made to light and to be that candle, you will naturally ask your Higher Self, “How can I be truly helpful?”
From there love will guide you to your human nature. And you will know what to do. Your heart knows what to do. There are no strangers here.
But there are many in need of being lifted up, and hungry for heartfelt conversations that give them an alternative to staring at their screens.
And maybe you can skip charging the dollar.