Looked At Your Shoes Lately?
By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, May 10, 2017
Just finished reading a remarkable book, Me We Be Do or as I like to say it, MeeWeeBeeDooo written by Dr. Randall Bell. I think the book is special and if read and then practiced, it would make a difference in either your life or the life of someone you care for or maybe both.
The “We” of Me We Be Do refers to the relationships we build with each other. Dr. Bell suggests that we take the initiative to make friends and be kind to people we do not know. Today I did a very short study of the way people pass each other in the parking lot, on the sidewalk and in a store.
What I discovered is that as you approach folks you do not know, their natural tendency is to look at the ground as if the person is looking at his or her shoes. It made little difference what the gender of the person was, they looked at their shoes as if they were not sure they were still there. Or perhaps they forgot what pair of shoes they were wearing, or maybe they thought they had put on a brown shoe and a black shoe. God forbid that they may have left home without wearing any shoes at all. Shoes ARE important are they not?
My unscientific study continued. Of ALL the people I had an opportunity to look eye-to-eye with, out of about 18 people (both men and women), only two people actually made eye contact with me and I was trying to garner everyone’s attention to make. Of the two, when I said “Hey, how are you?”, they both smiled back and made some comment but their smile and their eyes said far more than the words they uttered. Their face said they were pleased that someone actually said something to them. I have made a point of saying something nice to strangers I pass every chance I get and almost every time I get a very pleasant response in return. In fact, I have never had anyone not say something in return or at least wave their hand. After all, even my dog wants to greet strangers, why shouldn’t I. Why shouldn’t you? If you want to answer that question, I’ll wait…..
I did say something today that I typically never do and that is “Hey, how are you?” Let me ask you a question. Do you really want to know how a stranger is doing? For that matter, how many people that you actually know do you want to know how they are really doing? By doing do you mean, “feel” or “feeling?” Do you really want to know how someone is feeling other than maybe a close friend or family member and even then, maybe so, maybe not. What if someone told you how they were feeling? “Oh my back has been killing me and my feet, well my feet are like they belong to someone else they are so foreign to me. I am so glad you asked, I just got over the flu but the doctor said it was not contagious but he was not certain of that. You know how those doctors are; always trying to protect themselves with the disclaimers. But not to worry, I won’t breath on you, at least not much. How are you doing?” See what I mean. The air just went out of my balloon. How about yours. Now answer the question again, do you REALLY want to know how someone is doing? Not so much. I thought as much.
The only reason it is difficult to be nice to strangers is because most strangers are more interested in looking at their shoes. Have you looked at your shoes? Do you look at your shoes when you come upon a stranger? Did you ever think that maybe this stranger is out to harm you or take advantage of you or rob you? You know you have. But what if you first acknowledged their presence, smiled and said something nice to them like, “Great day!” That’s it, two words. You made contact with a total stranger but wait, what if this stranger was out to rob you. Do you seriously think that most robbers want their targets to be able to recognize them? Absolutely not but you just did – you recognized their presence and you spoke to them. You might be able to recognize them in a lineup. Instead of YOU being off guard as a robber would prefer, it is the robber who is off guard and that is not a good thing for the robbing business. My advice, always be aware of your surroundings and speak nicely to people when you think you might be in a threatening situation all the while looking for an exit.
Look at your shoes while you are lacing them up if they still have laces. Otherwise, look strangers in the eye and say something nice to everyone of them. You just might make someone’s day who really needs their day to be made. It will definitely make you feel better the more you make other people feel better about their day. Try it; you’ll like it!
As for saying a greeting when you meet, say something nice when you part company. I have a friend, Kieran Revellwho lives in Australia and he always says to me as we are hanging up the phone, “Love ya, leave ya!” Sometimes he adds “mate” at the end, either way, I feel very special when he does that. So with that said:
Love ya, leave ya Mon Freres!