In this day and age, we are inundated with information. We have information in the palm of our hand. We can look up anything our hearts desire. This may be why we see so many people walking the streets with their eyes glued to a phone or another smart gadget. When our focus remains consistently in one place, we end up missing the magic around us.
Unfortunately, having access to instantaneous information keeps us in our own worlds and narrows our vision of our surroundings. I am guilty of indulging in these activities. I have mindlessly scrolled through various pieces of information on my way to work. I have listened to my preferred music on my noise isolation headphones on route to work, essentially blocking out any other sounds on the train.
One morning, I felt more tired than usual and decided to buy a coffee at a cafe near my work before heading to my office. I was grouchy from tiredness and it was 6:45 in the morning. I most certainly was not looking forward to work. I was greeted by a soft spoken, polite and friendly employee at the cafe. I expected him to just get my coffee and for the transaction to be over. Instead, he made eye contact with me, smiled and asked me, “How are you this morning?”
The words were not what struck me. It was the genuine interest in my well-being. Kindness cannot be faked. His kindness was not just displayed in his words or his smile, but it was also displayed in his eyes. My grouchiness literally melted away. I left the cafe and started to head to my office. A woman passed by me on the sidewalk, smiled and said “Good Morning” in the middle of a typically cold emotionless business district. Once again, I was struck by another’s genuine nature.
The woman on the sidewalk reminded me of an old boss I had and how she was like a bright sunshine in the office. My former boss made me think that everything would be okay, no matter what was happening in the office. I thought about a dear friend who would listen attentively (with genuine interest) when we conversed, which made me feel like I was really heard and what I was saying meant something. I thought about an old colleague who made every office event extra special with his superb decoration skills, resulting in a number of joyous occasions. I thought about an old teacher who winked at me (with kindness) when she caught me looking at the boy I had a crush on. People like this transform how people feel about themselves and the world. They cast their magic spells on us and make us feel special. They are magicians.
The actions of these individuals may seem small, but really they are not and unfortunately people like this are often taken for granted and overlooked. When another person can completely influence and transform your mood and outlook, I call that magic. We walk through life, glued to our gadgets and these special people, these magicians are not noticed.
So for this new year and new years to come, I raise a glass to all of you who are magicians. You are truly wondrous and we need more of you in this world. I acknowledge your ongoing kindness and the thoughtful actions you undertake each and every day. I applaud you for all of your attempts to teach the rest of us curmudgeons to be more like you. Perhaps, some of us curmudgeons will transform into magicians some day, for the betterment of all.