Every morning starts off with me on the end of leash! Not to worry; I am on the handle end, not the collar side. My loyal hound and I head off to a nice wilderness area that is nestled within a community of some 300,000 inhabitants. It gives my dog a chance to sniff out trees and bushes, picking up the alluring scent of the wildlife and other dogs. It also gives me the opportunity to sniff out new ideas for this blog!
Invariably, we come across other dogs and their owners as we make our two to three-mile daily trek. At times I have the splendid opportunity to chat at length with some of these fellow pet fanciers. I also make time to speak to their dog, who sometime has more to share than their human counterpart. There are also times where the human will walk towards me and purposely look the other way. Now at 6′ 4″ I am not easy to miss. At 90 pounds and a very outgoing personality, my dog is rarely passed over either.
I have been blessed to have visited over 70 countries in my business adventures. I have walked the streets of virtually every one of the world’s major cities. In my experience, I am amazed by the number of people who are able to completely avoid making eye contact with me. Is it their cultural norm? Are they hiding something? Are they afraid of me and the fact that I might pass some form of judgment on their lives? It is a phenomenon that has always nagged at me!
There is no greater pleasure than when the eyes of two complete strangers lock upon each other! For a brief moment there is a connection that surpasses the words to describe it. The world around you comes to a complete halt and the result is two souls seeking to share! The moment may only last for a second or two, but the level of communication is infinite! If you open yourself to the possibility, you can actually feel the triumphs and sorrows of the person across from you.
In the more fortunate cases, you might even be able to exchange a quick pleasantry. A simple “good morning” or a brief “hello” can open vast avenues. In fact, I have made a point of learning simple greetings in the language of every country I have visited. By doing so, I was armed to extend warmth and caring to a total stranger; someone who I would probably never see again!
Naturally, there are those individuals who react to me much the same as they would an escaped lunatic from the local asylum. But every now and then, I true connection is made! I am able to convey to the other person that I truly care about them, their lives, and their hopes and aspirations! I am able to share that there are some of us out there who simply reach out, solely for the sake of reaching out. I am honored to be a part of their lives, even if just for a second. It fills me with worth and gives me a sense of purpose.
Walking along a heavily wooded path, I see a middle-aged woman coming towards me with an Irish Wolfhound at the end of a tether. I take a deep breath and hope that this will be an opportunity for two eyes to lock; a chance for two souls not to be deprived!