There is a bus stop across from the driveway, where students gather to go to the high school. They congregate in little groups on a frosty morning, two or three that are standing close together and still manage to look as if they are standing in part of the larger group. One girl stands twenty feet away, watching. As I drove past, I wondered what she was thinking. It could be a lonely spot, where she is not included in the morning conversation. It could be high school ostracizing, which we seem to learn naturally as people at a young age. It could be simply someone standing back to take it all in, to view the group as a whole. Maybe she didn’t feel like talking to anyone yet, still sleepy in the early hours. While I would like to think that she was pondering or thinking some wonderfully creative thoughts, she looked alone.
I’m not meaning to head down some sob story depressing path, but how many times have you seen a group or been part of a group and catch the one person out of the corner of your eye that is standing there looking slightly apart? How many times have you walked past without even an acknowledgement? We learn very early to pay attention to our friends and family. That is a good thing. But, somehow along the way, we also learn to separate out others and remove them from our group which is not such a good thing.
If you were take on a challenge to love your neighbor, be it the girl at the bus stop or the co-worker in the next cubicle or the neighbor who actually lives next door, what would it look like? A wave, good morning, sharing a tray of cookies, a sidewalk sweep, a hug, a conversation, the opportunities are limitless.