We've all done it.
Driven up into our driveway and wondered how we got home.
Our minds were elsewhere.
And for me at least, after 33 years, driving is an autopilot kind of activity.
Not that it should be.
Or, we've wandered to the supermarket, the mall, the bookstore, and wondered what we came for.
Our minds definitely in another place.
But that's only part of the disconnect I'm seeing these days.
Not only are we disconnected from ourselves, but from everything and everyone around us.
I drive a moderate sized red truck.
Really, it's an SUV with a truck bed.
It is definitely larger than a car.
It's bright RED.
I'm not sure how you can miss it.
Yet, it's missed all the time.
Nearly everyday someone doesn't see the big red truck.
This amazes me.
I've had people almost back into me.
I've had a car turn into the left turn lane I was occupying; missing me by millimeters, and only because I saw what was about to happen.
People just walk in front of me when I have the green light.
They don't even see me.
We don't look up when people pass us.
We run into people and can't even say excuse me.
Most of the time?
I don't think we even notice that we just bumped another person.
And we don't just do this when we're on our cell phone.
(Although the cell phone is certainly a LARGE part of it)
We do it because we are not aware of our surroundings.
I find that people are stunned when I randomly speak to them.
Some welcome it, start a conversation.
Others, not so much.
I'm running and I say good morning to the crossing guard I pass.
She is surprised.
Nobody ever notices her.
Sometimes even the drivers that are supposed to stop don't notice her big RED STOP
sign and brake inches from her.
She is there every morning, making sure the kids get safely across the street to school.
Yet she's become part of the landscape, destined not to be noticed.
I see a woman with fabulous shoes and tell her. "Great Shoes".
She is stunned, and a bit taken aback that I have not only noticed her shoes, but that I complimented her on them. She barely looks up, gives a wary "Thank you", but I notice she is smiling as she walks to her car.
This is sad, this disconnect.
We have no sense of ourselves in relation to other people.
We are so lost in ourselves, we don't notice the BIG RED TRUCK bearing down on us.
We don't notice the woman who is protecting our children.
We don't notice anything about our environment.
If it doesn't affect us...we don't care.
So next time you go out?
Say hello to a stranger.
Say excuse me.
Be aware of your surroundings.
You'll find out how awesome people can be.