On Incompatibility

Roadblocks in the physical world are usually things that block a road like cones or fences.

Roadblocks in the metaphorical world include incompatibility.

There is a reason why people who differ in style, outlook in life, and other avenues don’t hang out with one another. They are incompatible.

About a week ago, I thought I reunited with an old friend. I thought of her as a really good person.

It seemed like the text conversation was going well as we were beginning to catch up. Then out of nowhere she wrote to me that, “Your strange is too strange for me.”

It was probably a couple of years later than I needed it. For the past couple of years, there was a lack of reciprocation with the friendship. It came down to incompatibility.

Perhaps my mission on this blog is incompatible with quite a few people. Maybe the artists that only want to talk to fellow artists. Maybe the quiet ones who want to be left quiet. Maybe the prejudice people who want to limit who is acceptable. Maybe the people who fear something different.

That’s perfectly fine because it takes being in the moment with a fellow speck of stardust to understand that some people do not match at all. This variety is what keeps people fascinating and fresh.

It’s worth it to chat with the incompatible ones to find the compatible ones. Chatting with all people to find my sort of people is a worthy task.

Follow Your Obsessions (Respectfully)


*Used with e-mail permission.

“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.” – Franz Kafka

Kafka’s quote is remarkably true for many people nowadays. Many people follow their path relentlessly. People blog about quitting their job to travel around the world. Others talk about never giving up and eventually becoming a success. Like Kafka’s quote, this is all motivating and great.

Do it respectfully.

Respect everyone’s well being with regards to this personal mission of yours. Make sure it doesn’t physically or mentally harm anyone else or yourself.

Respect your financial situation as well. Many successful bloggers wrote about having a 3-6 month backup fund in case everything didn’t work out as planned.

Besides these two careful assessments, follow what Kafka says.

Stardust

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” – Carl Sagan, Cosmos

Everything in this planet was and is made from stars. If every single living thing came and continues to come from stardust, then I understand the whole entity that lives on this planet. Every human comes together in a collective range of living.

Some people may suffer more, some people may be more fortunate but almost everyone feels the huge range of emotions. Some may feel pleasure more than others but almost everyone will feel it in their lives. Others struggle for basic needs, while others struggle to make their vision reality on their path to self-actualization.

When you envision the stardust and human livelihood as a collective whole, then there is a clear respect for all people that feel that wide range of emotions. All pain, pleasure, suffering, redemption, and all other feelings are under this collective journey that all humans have to share.

The journey and situation may be different but we’re all the same stardust. Every belief, every action, every word of honor came from this stardust.

It is what keeps me absolutely calm and focused in the face of pain, in the face of frustration, and in the face of constructive feedback. It is what keeps me absolutely calm and focused in the face of pleasure, in the face of success, and in the face of curiosity.

The calm wave of knowing everyone looks at the same sky is relieving. All of my emotions can be resonated with on some level.

That is why I jump into randomness, awkwardness, and honesty.

I’m certain everyone else has felt it before. The only difference is that I am leaning into it.

If you know that you’re one little speck of stardust in the whole entity, then it becomes really enjoyable to be a part of the human experience. It helps me take more risks by accepting the human experience.

Approaching people gives me that rush of connection and allows me to know that everyone is representing humanity as best as they can, as imperfect as humans can be. That is the joy of reaching out to anyone open to chat and enjoy the connection, however long it lasts because on a long enough time-frame we’re all just stardust.

[This post was inspired by one of my favorite novels, Siddhartha by Herman Hesse.]

Flying Around and Passing Out 100 Fliers

A nonprofit handed me 100 fliers to pass out around. I decided to talk to people on campus while passing these fliers out.

October 08 2012 11:00AM

I walked around for half an hour to see what was going on and to get myself used to the atmosphere. Then I started chatting with people.

All sorts of random and funny interactions occurred.

-The first person I talked to was waiting for the bus sitting around. I told him that he had cool shoelaces on his converses (they were checkered). He was a new transfer and told me he really liked the campus. I passed him a flier and told him to keep wearing those shoelaces. He smiled and said thanks to me.

I handed about twelve more fliers to people around the bus station. Total count: thirteen.

-I walked to the cafeteria area and there was a girl that seemed really bored. “Hi, you seem bored so let’s chat for a little while to make you less bored.” I guessed her major as English or Sociology. She told me that she was a Conversational Biology major. We talked about climate change and how she could make a difference in the current day. She spoke about how she wanted to work at a park to save the wolves and help them. I randomly blurted out that her soul animal was a wolf and she smiled. She agreed and we ended up talking about how I believed that each person had a soul animal in them. A fun quirky thread ended up brightening her day. I went on my way.

I handed fifteen more fliers to people around the cafeteria. Total count: twenty-nine.

-I exited one of the campus buildings. I had a wonderful conversation with a girl where the conversation started with her just sitting around taking a break. She was sitting down on one of the steps and I needed a break myself so we started to chat. She told me she was an International Relations major that just transferred to the campus from her local community college. I handed her a flier and talked about the 5k/10k run. She seemed intrigued and figured that her roommates would want to go. We talked about how she worked at Baskin Robbins. I laughed and told her she could definitely offer me a discount. She smiled and said if I ended up in her city in the suburbs, I would be welcomed to get a kid’s scoop. As I stood up, I smiled and told her to enjoy her break.

I walked by and handed out another twenty fliers to people passing by. Total count: fifty.

3:00PM

-I ended up at one of the biggest lecture halls on the campus and asked what class was coming up for the lecture hall. Fifty people were waiting for the next class and one shouted out to me that they were waiting for some Chemistry class. I thanked them. I went up to him and handed him the first flier and told him, appreciate the knowledge, have a flier. He said thanks. I ended up gaining momentum and passed it around to all of the fifty people waiting at the lecture hall. About fifteen of the people said thanks and I got a few people who shook their head and said no thanks. One of them even told me that my shirt was really cool.

This was a big accomplishment for me because I had to speak and take action in a small area with a lot of people crowded around. It feels more difficult when people are in earshot and I have to say, “Hi excuse me, here’s a flier” forty times in a row. Total count: About ninety-seven passed out.

I had a few fliers left. On my way to the parking lot, I passed one more building. I saw a girl that looked really interesting and talked to her before giving my last flier to her. I was talking to her and she told me that she was taking Nutrition Science. She also had a slight accent that was fascinating. She told me that she born in the UK. We talked for a few minutes about the different accents in the UK. She told me that was around the London area and compared that accent to other accents in York, Leeds, and Manchester. She thanked me for the conversation and told me that her friends were really into running so the flier was helpful. I smiled and felt proud to end on a high note like that.

Make an activity enjoyable by talking to people during the activity. Passing out fliers became a fun task when I allowed random interaction to enter the equation. Sometimes it was awkward. Sometimes it was courageous. It was fun overall.