So the other day my inner guidance prompts me to take a single sheet of 8-1/2 by 11 paper and fill one side of it as quickly as I can with the names of everyone I can think of that I’ve met in the flesh who has contributed to my life. In less than 10 minutes, the page was brimming: four full rows, 200 names.
The people were in no particular order of importance, just whoever came to mind. If I took out another sheet, I’ll bet I could add 200 more, maybe not quite so quickly but briskly nonetheless. Who knows how many sheets I might eventually complete?
What’s the point, I’ve wondered.
For sure, a lesson in humility. Any thoughts that I, by myself, am responsible for whatever I know, or am able to do, or have ever achieved, or ever will achieve...is horseticky of the highest order.
Moreover, I feel encouraged to attune myself to every person on earth––yesterday, today, tomorrow––since every one of them, in their own funky way, contributes to who I am, even if I don’t know exactly how. Those I’ve personal contact with simply kick off the list.
People who love me; people who can do without me; people who probably wouldn’t remember me if you showed them my mug shot; people I’ve loved; people I’ve betrayed; people whose wisdom I’ve ignored at the price of despair; people whose wisdom saves my fanny regularly––all but endless is the litany! And that’s just people whose names I recall.
What about folk I’ll never meet?
Say, the Boston craftsman of 1890 who created the cameo ring I saw in a dream a century later and a few days after that stumbled upon it in a small estate jewelry shop I’d never patronized before. Today, on my finger that myth contends leads directly to the heart is the cameo profile Aristotle, who reminds me, “Character is revealed through action.”
And heck, I haven’t even begun to think about animals.
Wouldn’t you know! Immediately upon writing that sentence, I glance out my bedroom window at the landscape pictured above and find two early spring geese flying directly at me, honking, until, at the last second, they swerve up over the rooftop and out of sight.
I love how playful the universe can be in reminding us to pay attention.