By Majd Radwan
SONDER: n, the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own. ~ The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows.
Have you ever tried to build a life for a supporting actor/actress in any movie? To bring the abstract into reality? Give it color, shape, width and life? If you haven’t yet, then you’ve missed a considerable amount of good stories.
The supporting actor crosses the protagonist’s life through some levels, to do a specific role, to complete, complicate or solve the latter’s story.
If you just challenge yourself enough to create a life for him — if you stretch your imagination and dare to set free all the vivid scenes that are lurking in the shadow within you — I bet you can feel him sheltering in a bar behind a glass of wine, weeping, celebrating, wondering, crying for help while you’re busy encouraging Robert De Niro to kill the bastard or praying for Nicole Kiddman to solve her debt issues.
They could all be protagonists. Actually everyone is the protagonist of his own life — no life is more important than the other. At this very point you can’t help but get a bit closer to reality, and turn into real life. Wander your mind between all the people you’ve met during your whole life, even for a short time.
Take a closer look at them. I mean they might be anyone, like the old man who sells you the plums, the little boy who tried to convince you to buy a flower with the begging look in his eyes, the taxi driver, the young man sitting alone on some bench at the park, maybe the news anchor, the actor, the writer, the man you scrubbed shoulders with on the street the other day.
It never ends — they’re all protagonists of their own lives. They have their own struggle and secrets, a devotion and an ambition, a start and an end, just like you do.
Can you imagine how many possible stories you could have heard, shared and even helped with, if you’d only paid attention to what’s going on outside of you?
“Do stuff. Be clenched, curious. Not waiting for inspiration’s shove or society’s kiss on your forehead. Pay attention. It’s all about paying attention. Attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. Stay eager.” ~ Susan Sontag
It has been said that we’re all connected and that is true. Love connects us and stories never end.
Dive through your old photos (the new ones as well) and you may see people in the blurry background, not knowing that their gesture at that very moment was frozen once and for all in a photo of yours — in your own memories — without being noticed.
There may be someone who’s looking right to the camera in fact. They’re protagonists also — they have stories, problems, memories, families, and you can’t help but wonder about what they were thinking about in the very moment the picture was taken. Send them love, that’s all you need to do.
Smile to them. Smiles can move mountains, and change lives.
For instance, take a guy who works in those fast food restaurants; he’s rushing around to fulfill your hunger. With time he got used not to smile, not to look consciously at your face; yes, you — the buyer, because no has ever noticed him. He is waiting for nothing, in fact expecting nothing.
Try to smile to him when ordering. Look him in the eye and show him that your smile is just for him, not for the food he’s providing you.
Thank him with a smile.
The last thing that will stick in the back of your brain is him smiling back to you, while he’s trying to send you in return his gratitude with the simplest act, maybe giving you more of those salt and pepper small bags. Well, that’s all he can do after all. A smile is contagious.
You gave him a good moment just by noticing him, and this simple act might change his feelings, which can affect his whole day. Be present. Pay attention, this will give you a much better feeling, and above all, you’ll be sending love through the air, pure love.
Be curious. Let your aura get thinner. Connect with the center of your being. It wouldn’t take much effort, take my word on that.
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” ~ Leo F. Buscaglia
On the other side of the story, here is what may sound funny.
You, yourself, are also a supporting actor in many people’s lives. As people pass by you, you also pass by them of course. You may be that person in the back of their photo, or the person who was in front of them in the row to getting concert tickets.
They may think about you, and send you love. So don’t be surprised when you suddenly find yourself happy for no reason. Someone may have sent you love through air, asking for nothing but you to be happy.
“Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” ~ Mother Teresa.