People are kind of amazing. Like some days I’m just mind blown. I think that people are the greatest teachers- so I’m going to share 6 of my favorite teachers, and the life lessons that I have learned from complete strangers. Some of these lessons, have been from conversations with these people, some of them I don’t even know their names, and some of them I’ve never even met, but just observed. You’ll be surprised what the world can teach you if you open your eyes to it!
It’s okay to ask for help: I personally have such a hard time with this. I’m the type of person that knows what needs to be done and rather than asking for help, I drown myself in laundry lists of things to do. There are seven billion people placed on this earth, so why do we think we need to figure it out all on our own? I guess I didn’t really look at it this way until I was in a cafe in England. I was waiting for a friend and I had a seat by the window. There was a lady across the street in tatty clothes sitting on the curb with a cup in her hand. Homeless. We’ve all seen tons of homeless people in our lives and I don’t know maybe you’ve been on the street at some point too. This isn’t uncommon, unfortunately, thousands of people near you are homeless as well! But it took her to help me realize that it is okay to ask for help. Whatever it may be. We are all here to help each other and no one has to go this alone.
At the end of the day we are all just people: I was in Moscow with my brother, sister, and dad! We were all extremely jet lagged and the 4 of us decided to go to Red Square at 5:00 in the morning, just because! We were taking some pictures in front of the pretty buildings there and this random guy asked if he could take a picture with us! My first instinct was to say no! It was 5 am and I didn’t know who this guy was! When I said “yes” he came over, took some pictures with us and danced with my sister and I on Red Square! It was literally a seven minute little meeting, but then he said “thanks so much for the picture. Isn’t it cool that I don’t know you, you don’t know me, and it doesn’t even matter! We are all just people- no one is better than anyone else, at the end of the day we are all just people.” It’s a nice reminder. I feel like sometimes I get intimidated by other people because they are more “this” or “that” than me, but who cares! At the end of the day, we are all just people and we are all on the same playing field.
Remembering someones name goes a long way: When we first moved to Bali, we didn’t know anyone or even the area around us! The first day we stopped into to a Starbucks that was just down the road from our house! A similar place in a brand new place! They asked for our names like any other Starbucks, to write it on the cup and call out our names when it was ready. The next time we went to Starbucks before we even walked through the door we heard our names, “Hey Bri and Britt! You’re back!” Literally just hearing our names meant the entire world! In a place where we literally knew NO ONE, it was actually really comforting to hear our names and to be remembered! “To anyone, their name is the best word in any language.” just remembering someones name goes a long way.
No Decision is Final: Sometimes we make decisions in life that seem like they will determine our future. Which, HELLO, puts a huge stress on things! Like what you decide to study in school, where you decide to take a job, move your family, etc. I was talking to this amazing woman named Katya! We have talked over Skype before in Russian, but this was my first time actually meeting her. I told her about some of my life plans and that I just have so many options and I don’t want to pick the wrong one. She immediately said, “Well, you never know until you try- but even after that, what’s holding you to that decision? Try it! Try Everything! If it’s not for you, move on! Try something else.” No decision is final, and you can always always change your mind! Sometimes I think, I have no time, there so much a want to do, but I don’t know what to do all at the same time! But, we do have time! So much of it! So if you end up graduating college a year later than you planned, or transfer schools 3 times, or decide you want your nails to be blue instead of pink, Who Cares! No decision is final and you can always change your mind- don’t lose an opportunity by not giving it a try.
Don’t Be so Quick to Judge: I was sitting on the plane in a window seat. It was me, a mom and a baby, and a guy who looked like the kind of guy you would expect to see in a dark alley somewhere- not being rude, just painting a picture. I was working on my laptop and the guy and the mom started talking. Being bored on a plane, of course I eavesdropped. The man went into detail about a Humanitarian Organization that he started with a friend of his. The work they have been doing and the money the have raised for several communities in need throughout the world. Not to mention, he also studied at Yale, and had a wife and 3 daughters! I was blown out of the water! It just reminded me, that I don’t know the first thing about anyone, so why would I assume? I don’t know the way people think, I don’t know why people do what they do, none of us do! Yet we are so quick to make judgements and assume! Let’s get this straight, no matter what you see, what you hear, you don’t know anything. There is no reason to make hasty judgements about a person. Instead of focusing on the outward, remember to look inward. There is beauty to be found.
You have more time in a day then you think you do: We are busy. We all are! We run here and there. There is work, school, groceries to buy, kids to pick up, dinner to make, and eight hours of sleep to get in! I was in LA just walking around one morning and this man in a suit flew passed me. Must have been late for work or a meeting- I don’t know; I’ve never met him! He got to a cross walk where a man was rolling his nonelectric wheelchair across the road. The man ran passed him as well. Then he got to the middle of the crosswalk, stopped in his tracks, turned around and pushed the man across the road, said, “Have a good day!” and kept on running! This just reminded me - you are not too busy for anyone. We all have an extra 5 minutes to spare. Honestly, we have an extra hour to spare. We can go out to lunch with a friend who needs it, or call our mom from time to time. Catch up with an old friend, or even just send a text to remind someone you were thinking about them. It takes 20 seconds to make someones day and I promise we all have an extra 20 seconds somewhere.
There are a zillion people in this world who have taught me amazing life lessons, but these are just a few. I guess if we’re being realistic, we know there will also be those you come in contact with that will disappoint you or let you down. Don’t let that make you loose faith in people as a whole! Learn from those experiences as well and move forward! I encourage you to look at people with a wondering eye and try to learn something from everyone that you see. You will be surprised what they can teach you!
Bri & Britt