Hey there friends and neighbors. Its me again, the same fellow who goes on and on about odd subjects every week. But I've been thinking about this recently and it really surprises me. 

You see, I’ve always been a man of relatively few words. I can carry on a regular conversation okay, find points of agreement and have a pleasant chat with someone. But I do a lot of listening also. I try to get the other person to tell me what is most real to them and to see the world through his or her eyes for a brief while.

With a continued conversation, a friendship often tends to build up and some social bonding. I also try to use a bit of humor so as to lighten up the atmosphere. You can tell a lot about someone as regards to his sense of humor, (or lack thereof).

After you get to know people you get a better sense of their reality. You understand their viewpoints and outlook much better. You see them as individuals and unique in their own ways. They have names, personalities and feelings. It makes it difficult to dislike them. They are not just employees with name tags and uniforms, bank clerks, mailmen, grocery store attendants, etc. They have smiles, families and kids. They have homes and lives a lot like yours.

I truly wish our world leaders could look at each other this way.

There’s so much good in people. Its plain as day when you look for it. Just smile or wave at a child and behold the beam of joy that echos right back to you. Offer assistance to someone in need and you see their grateful reaction.

Human kindness is as natural as the sun, wind and rain. It takes quite a bit of effort and programing to subdue, dampen and diminish it. But sadly, this is an ongoing process in our society. Political parties are opposed to each other’s aims. Religions very much disagree between one another. Different ethnic communities conflict and see the the other side as their enemy. And there’s supposed to be an ongoing battle between men and women!

But what if we changed our minds about all this? I’m sure you heard the saying: “What if they declared a war and no one showed up to fight?” Why can’t we live our lives using our natural instincts of love, caring and compassion rather than with programed behavioral patterns?

You can still see some of this natural lifestyle in small towns, rural farming communities and such. While traveling through the Outback in Australia many years ago it was somewhat similar. With thousands of square miles of open land and very few people, crossing paths with another human being was a special occasion.

It all starts out so well but gets ever so muddled as time goes on. You’re a kid, innocent, free and trusting. Life is a wondrous adventure and you’re learning all about it. Things are simple, clear and honest. You’re happy to be alive, growing your body, tasting new foods, making friends and getting lots of attention. Then one day they put you in school to be educated about how things are in the “real world”. That’s when it all starts to change.

About eighteen years or so later you roll off the assembly line as a programed citizen ready to work and consume. You’re young and have lots of potential for your future but your world is now solid, serious and a threatening environment. The light, laughter, fun and excitement you enjoyed so much and was all around you as a child has faded away. The system now views you as a cog in a wheel, a unit of production, a taxpayer to be utilized at it’s discretion.

Well now that we have stated the problem, how about a solution?... Deprograming? Abolish education? Stay young, free and innocent forever? ... Not very workable you say?

Well with the advancement of age they say that some revert to childhood once more. Maybe that’s what’s happening to me! The fascination with the wonders of life is coming back to me and I like it. All it takes is a change of viewpoint. It was all there from the very beginning.

So anyway, I was starting out to say I’m a man of few words. Then wouldn’t you know, all these thoughts and words come flowing out. But all I really wanted to say is: Hi. How are you?

Well its been nice chatting. Till next week then take it easy and enjoy life. Its a gas!

Dan O’Connor can be reached at danhughoconnor@gmail.com.