Monday, July 23, 2012

Shy People "Speak" Through Writing, Art, Music...

Have you got any shy people in your life? Any introverted souls who would prefer to sit home and read a book than go out and party? Friends who struggle to get a word in edgewise in the middle of a conversation?

I'd like to give you a hint as to how to help them.

No, I'm not going to tell you how to force them to become more outgoing by teaching them how to engage in small talk or encouraging them to partake of the various intoxicating social lubricants that are out there. Think about it: does this world really need more talkative individuals who gleefully steamroll over every conversation with their own loudmouth comments?

Shy people have plenty to offer, the trouble is, few people give them a chance to speak. Now aside from agreeing to meet with quieter folks individually so they have a hope of actually getting a word in, here's the best thing you can do:

Read their writing. If they don't write novels, poetry, short stories, essays and whatnot, read their blog. If they don't have a blog, probably they have a Facebook or a Twitter or something. Read it. You will find a world of insight about a person by what they write and post. The internet is a boon for shy people. 

Another thing: ask them if they make art or music or do some other sort of creative work. Shy people often speak through their creative work. Ignoring someone's creative work is tantamount to ignoring the person, especially if that person is not a social maven.

So pay attention to a shy person (or their work) today. Perhaps your world will be brighter because of it!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Turning Anger and Fear into Compassion

I had an interesting experience crossing the road a few months ago. My hip was acting up and I was limping as I crossed. This car was turning into the road I was crossing and rather than slow down or stop to let pathetic ole' me limp across, the car speeded up and I had to hurl myself the last ten feet just to avoid getting hit. My first reaction was one of fear and anger: did this person have it in for me and want to kill me? Then I remembered the various times I'd been distracted while driving and done careless things that could have endangered others, or... my fence, which I knocked down the day i backed into it after pressing the accelerator when I meant to press the brake. Remembering that folly of mine, I convinced myself the driver who'd nearly plowed me down had simply made that same sort of careless mistake as I did. I felt much better after that.