The hamster song! Unless you live on Mars…at one time or another, you have either had the twangy chirping song in your head, passed it onto a friend via an email, or paid the price (literally), for a Hallmark card with the insane sound chip, annoying the living hell out of someone you care for. Although those little fur balls may be dancing, the majority of them, are known for the wheels that they love, the same ones John Lennon reminded us go round. That is life.
Walking the halls recently at work, it dawned on me that I too, was turning round-and-round in another such place…the living embodiment of Facebook. Daily, we like… we comment…we share…and for the most part, look at one another face-to-face as an image to save or delete. However, many of those faces, just like the computer application are not emotionally real…just an illusion, to pacify us as we walk by…a pause in the maze of our day.
In middle school, my father helped me make such a science project. Armed with wood, hot glue and some sunflower seeds, we measured and cut, secured and held down, until there was a wonderful puzzle, just waiting for a few unsuspecting hamsters. What the two us did that day, aside from bonding and sharing a special moment, was to create a surreal reality for some little creatures that walked around, wanting nothing more than to find the reward they were promised and escape. Nothing more and nothing less.
A lot like a normal week at work for the majority of the population.
The hamsters moved quickly. They tried to get over the walls, avoided dead ends, and always I am sure, looked for a window or point of reference so they wouldn’t have to retrace their steps more than once. Thinking of that today, I saw windows, walls and doors, but they were on the faces of the people I encountered…along a very similar journey…even if at the end my journey, was a direct deposit of cash and not a planned deposit of seeds.
It would be ideal, if we asked ourselves as we go through our sometimes less than amazing day – am I a window? Do I reflect life to those I meet? Do I offer them an escape from their own burdens as a breath of fresh air in a weary world of self-driven, unmotivated doldrums? If not, can you admit you might be a door? Someone that is open to help or to guide, a place where another can enter, knowing their fears and secrets will be locked up and kept, as they look for help? Maybe you are also well-hinged… a port-in-the-storm, a refuge from what sometimes can be overwhelming. Sadly, if neither option is honestly you, that only leaves a wall…and walls, as we politically know, need to be torn down.
Emotionally, as we go through each day, we look for interaction and compassion through the windows of our life, making the maze not as insurmountable. The doors that open along the way, also help our self-esteem, peace of mind and keep us from questioning our self-worth, as we try to make a difference…and a living, sometimes while doing what we don’t enjoy. However, the walls…those that are self-absorbed, usually in it just for themselves, make everything difficult. Attitudes, that don’t see what is truly in their face, both literally and figuratively, force getting to that end reward difficult, if not impossible and they are also hard to avoid…no matter how much dancing we do around them.
Today, and all those days yet to come, strive to be the adventurer who will conquer the twists and turns of each day – seek out the doors and windows of opportunity and if possible, plant your own seeds of creativity, hope and support to others along the way. In time, if we are lucky and through some truly amazing grace, maybe the walls will eventually come down, and those who were once caught up on ever-turning wheels, will finally see them as no more than an exercise in futility… and dance!