Social Gym is always a struggle. I’m getting used to it though. It’s the same feeling I get before I go to the gym. Before I get there, I’m dreading being at the gym but once I’m actually there I catch myself becoming immersed in the beautiful moments with new acquaintances. I’m starting to not care what anyone thinks of me, going outside of my comfort zones to approach anyone. This is good, because now I can build from this foundation and figure out how to create long lasting, real conversations.
Coincidence, or Choices?
Mikey B stood in line for Starbucks, and it was a long line. Social Gym had been initiated, and here we stood in a massive line full of strangers. Both of us were in our head a bit, we didn’t start a conversation with anyone that was in line with us. The morning seemed to wear heavy on the both of us, lack of sleep crept into our voices when we spoke. Giddy and exhausted, Mikey B and I stood in the Starbucks line with a moderately higher energy.
7 customers later, I was standing at the front of the Starbucks line. I greeted the barista and ordered two frappachinos, one Caramel, one Salted Caramel Mocca. Mmm. The drinks seemed to be made in an instant, as I walked over to the end of the bar and have my eyes greeted by beautiful beverages. Mikey B and I picked them up, and started walking towards the front door of Starbucks. In my path stood two individuals with “Mustard Seed” lanyards hanging off their neck.
I’m a firm believe that every decision that you make in this moment effectively changes the course of the rest of your life. I walked by the lady towards the front door, then I doubled back and opened my mouth to speak.
Brian: Excuse me. I couldn’t help but notice your lanyards. Are you Volunteers?
Lady: Actually, I’m one of the managers at the Seed!
Brian: Hmm, interesting. I’ve always been curious about volunteering.
Lady: Yeah, I’m just on my break right now! I’d give you a tour, I’ll be back there in 20 minutes.
I figured it couldn’t be a bad decision. I talked to the lady and the man she was with for about 5 minutes, and parted ways to meet Mikey outside of Starbucks. I told him that we had a date in 20 minutes at the Mustard Seed for a tour, and I knew he’d be open to the idea. A new experience, and finding a new way to give value? Always the right move.
Mikey B and I walked around Downtown Calgary and started conversations with a few more people. I managed to make a woman think that I was about to rob her… lesson learned… don’t run up on people. Mikey B and I saw moderate success today, we’re both trying to calibrate to the energy of the environment while maintaining our genuine intent. Finding that balance in the daytime isn’t the easiest thing to do, but growing is worth the struggle.
30 minutes seemed like 5 as we made our way over to the Mustard Seed. I had all of these preconceived notions for how these homeless people would be, based on Society’s image of these people, but the lady that I met today inspired me to see the situation for what it actually was. It doesn’t matter whether you’re homeless, average or rich; you’re a person.
The lady that I met today was more of an inspiration than anyone I’ve ever met in my life. Mikey B and I walked into the Mustard seed to be greeted by the Manager, she shook Mikey B’s hand with certainty and love. The tour began, as she talked, talked and talked about the place that fueled her passionate fire. The lady talked about how these people inspired her, she talked about how she had raised six troubled children on top of her own four kids in the same house, how she had been helping the homeless for 30 years. I listened in awe, as my silence allowed her to passionately express the idea that she represented.
The tour lasted about an hour, and as it came to a close Mikey B finally piped up and asked the question that I was thinking about.
Mikey B: All you do is give, and give. How do you never burn yourself out?
Lady: I hear all the time about Social Workers burning themselves out. There’s no possible way I could burn myself out, because all I do is receive. People say that they “give and give,” and you cannot see it as that, because you only have so much to give. Everywhere I go, everything I do, I receive the honor of being a light to someone else. Give, receive, it’s all up here. It’s all based on perception.
A life–altering perspective on how Social Dynamics is meant to be played out. I find that now that Social Dynamics is out there, people are talking about how they “give and give” and receive nothing in return. In reality, when you are “giving” you are receiving the gift of giving. “Giving” should never be a chore, it should be an honor. If it is a chore, you are doing it for the wrong reasons, because a gift with a string attached is a bribe.
In the end, we’re all people. It doesn’t matter whether you’re homeless, on the streets, have a drug issue, drive a lambo, own your house, have a million dollars. We are all people, and we all co–exist in this world together. To live selfishly is always the wrong move, because the necessities for survival are moderate in comparison to the extravagant materialistic items that the wealthy purchase to satisfy their ego. Give, and you shall receive. Give freely, expecting nothing in return and you receive the gift of happiness.
Interested in meeting the woman who inspired this article? Visit www.theseed.ca