The other day I was riding in the car on Interstate 94. As we were passing a U-Haul truck, I happened to look into the cab and noticed three young men, probably around 18-20 years old. Given their ages, and that it was the near the end of August, I figured they were moving out to college, ready to start a new adventure. As I looked at their faces, I noticed all three had their eyes on the road ahead. They had a look of peaceful excitement that words could not express. I imagined them riding the whole trip not saying a word, but sharing the same feeling the whole time. A feeling of independence, freedom, and adventure. They were completely caught up in the moment, enjoying every minute of it.
We then went by a mid-size car with two women in their 20’s. They each had a Dairy Queen container in their hands and were smiling and laughing. They were obviously enjoying each other’s company, sharing a treat, and having an all around good time.
Finally we drove by a rusty pickup truck. In the back were an engine and other miscellaneous parts. Driving was a man in his late 40’s wearing a worn t-shirt. He had the window down, was smoking a big cigar, and looked perfectly content.
What these three scenes made me realize, is that everyone is at different stages of life, everyone has different interests, and everyone has different hobbies and different goals. When there are so many differences, it can be easy to judge…
“Don’t those young kids think they’re so cool?”
“I bet those women are going to eat DQ, and then complain about having weight to lose.”
“I’m sure glad I’m not working on a Saturday night.”
I realized that the biggest gift is being able to do what your heart calls out to do, regardless of what others think. When this thought hit me, I immediately entered a deep state of gratitude. Gratitude for where I was at in life, and for where others are at in their lives…regardless of what they are doing.
I then decided to imagine everyone I saw doing what they loved. That the thing they were doing at that moment was because it created passion and excitement for them. When I imagined this, each person I observed put a nice smile on my face.
I encourage you to try. The next time you see someone, imagine that person is doing exactly what he or she wants to be doing at that time. Imagine that person loving every minute of it…being his or her true self and having a blast. Whether it was a cross-country trip, enjoying a treat with a friend, or getting the job done.