December 13, 2011 by Rivky Gee
I was at a popular mall with my sister today, finding myself dodging hundreds of people walking about in various, sharp and soft unexpected hurried movements. Dozens of elegant ornaments, quite large. Looking like shiny red candy apples dangling on gold strings, hanging fashionably from high ceilings and Chandeliers. The hum and croak of the moving escalators, the holiday music. Hearing multiple layers of voices, chatter, laughter. The pitch and tone of irritability. A sigh of exhaustion, a blip of excitement. Self absorbed, focused, determined to discover a sale of some kind.
A feeling of impatience from customers. A hint of impatience from employees. A hint of frustration at someone’s crying baby. A hint of annoyance at the sound of a phone, a text message, and a hint of strangulation at a dying cell phone. The technological withdrawal and the unwanted suffering we’ve come to understand so well. The disconnect from human contact seems far less painful than our disconnect from our man made devices.
Through my discombobulated and noisy haze I looked at my sister as she was waiting at the check out counter. She looked at me with that hint of frustration and exhaustion resulting from the demands of her frustrated, anxiety ridden boss. The frustrated cashier woman, the angry, brusque employees, the impatient customers Along with the added song and cheer of “Rudolph the red-nosed reign deer”, playing jolly jingly in the far reaches of her holiday subliminal mind. I attempted a smile.
I then decided to remind myself to think of something positive in a moment of negative chaos. To sort of psych myself for the good of something. Anything. To force a surge of euphoric discipline to entertain my mind while brushing up side by side with humanity, humankind, human nature. And so, I looked at my dearest sis -who already knew I was inevitably about to either communicate something profound, deep, whimsical or something just down right annoying -which would add to the current negative chaos…surrounding her.
There I stood, with the cashier woman frantically clicking away on the computer. I turned to my sister and said, “You know, I’ve been reminding myself that every human being has the potential to be utterly beautiful. For some though, it just takes more time to get there. So let’s try if we can to think of everyone around us in the most endearing light for just a couple of minutes”. She gave me one of her blank stares…which then, ever so gently, softened into a smile.
I’d like to believe that one minor positive exchange between two people can create more than just a hint…of something utterly beautiful.