I have been running through Hancock Park all the years I have lived in Hollywood. I usually run at the same time and always down the same streets. Today, instead of running on the sidewalk, I ran in the street because there was more shade. In the distance I saw a young man running steadily toward me. “I’ve never seen him before.” I thought. I often pass the same runners and dog walkers, or nannies pushing strollers. This guy running toward me was definitely new, and, wait., was he smiling? The closer he got, the more I could see that, yes, this guy is smiling. As he came toward me, his smile became even more pronounced. Then, just as he ran by me, he extended his hand toward me. Instinctively I extended mine and we high fived. In the middle of the street in Hancock Park on a run I have been going on for over 15 years, listening to Death Cab for Cutie, a guy running past me gave me a high five.
I immediately felt such a strong sense of community! I actually said out loud, “Yes!” smiled, and even giggled a little. I felt like I was in the movie Rocky and some triumphant moment had just bonded us together. This stranger who had passed me had literally reached out to me and created a perfect opportunity for harmony between us. He had pronounced our one-ness in a simple gesture and I felt like we were in it together. I was filled with a warm sense of gratitude and satisfaction. I love knowing that we are all connected and that if we fearlessly reach out to each other we can truly connect and thus change each others life experience for the better.
The next two people I ran past were not interested at all in connecting with me. Now, I did not reach out to give them a high five, but I did smile and acknowledge them both, with no response. How did high five guy know I was receptive to his gesture? Did he high five everyone as he passed them? Was the moment we shared a fluke? What can I do to pass along the high five to others throughout my day? Although I did not literally pay his high five forward, I did make an effort to look people in the eye all day and give a warm smile to those who passed.
I hope that someone high fives you today. I hope that you are inspired to high five someone else. I hope that I can carry this feeling of community throughout my day and instead of burying my face in my phone (which I am quite guilty of doing) that I will choose to connect with those around me. We are just a high five away from feeling not so alone after all.
Love & Light,