Having just gotten back from a day spent in NYC, I can’t help but consider the companions I was traveling with. Good people all, but what bothers me slightly are part of the attitudes they hold while we’re walking around.

I feel that while checking some things out in any city, some amount of walking is probably implied if not expected, and given that I’m not intimately familiar with NYC, a certain degree of error might be expected while navigating.

I dunno. I wanted to write something but I can’t recall the main point that had been in my mind some hours earlier.

I don’t know if perhaps my expectations of my traveling companions might be too high?  That they should be able to ignore small problems and take things in stride, enjoy the city and new and even old sights while we’re there…that they should hold some kind of attitude more similar to my own, I suppose. I certainly shouldn’t fault them for not having an attitude that I’d prefer, but I couldn’t help but think to myself a few times that it’s easier traveling by myself rather than having to consider each person’s needs.  And of course, such consideration isn’t anything necessary so much as it is a courtesty, if you will, that I feel my friends (or any good companions) deserve.

But I don’t have issues with certain traveling companions, and I think part of that’s because people have different attitudes towards, well, “travelling”.  Whether it’s walking through the city, hiking on a trail or a jog around the neighborhood, I much appreciate the kinds of people who don’t mind a bit of physical activity, or more importantly, can shelve their own issues in the name of necessity or even in the name of good humor.  No one likes ill-tempered traveling companions, for good reason.  The way I see it, if something has to be done, such as walking to get from one place to another in the city, or whatever it might be, then that task might as well be done in reasonably good humor.  Hahaha…I wonder if I’m being too optimistic about that, though.  It could just be that I’m one of several people who break the mold in not minding such things.

Also, I guess there’s a certain degree of frustration when my sister is part of the traveling retinue, in that…she doesn’t really want to change.

Maybe this is one of the cases where I should care just a bit less–people are the way they are. But on the flip side, I wouldn’t care quite so much if it weren’t people who I’m closer to, people whose lives I think could be “enriched” if they’d only understand certain things. I think that’s the kind of attitude I hold towards those I care most about–that I believe certain changes in them would make them happier in some way. Perhaps that’s in some way arrogant, to think that I know how to make some changes for the “better” in a person, but…from a lot of what I’ve seen, read, tried…I believe in certain concepts.  I believe in the power of certain things, such as the powers of sincere appreciation, of an open mind.

I guess one of the questions I end up with is wondering if I should try to change people if I see something “wrong” (subjective, of course).

All I can really say is that if a person didn’t matter to me, I don’t think I’d bother trying.  But putting in some kind of effort, only to see people disregard it, is disappointing.

A few things I recently read in a book (“How to Win Friends & Influence People” by Dale Carnegie) really inspires me.  One such inspiring quote is as follows:

“I shall pass this way but once; any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”

Those words resonate with me, and now I look to uphold them when I can.

And another inspiring quote, this one from Elbert Hubbard:

“Whenever you go out-of-doors, draw the chin in, keep the crown of the head high, and fill the lungs to the utmost; drink in the sunshine; greet your friends with a smile, and put soul into every handclasp. Do not fear being misunderstood and do not waste a minute thinking about your enemies. Try to fix firmly in your mind what you would like to do; and then, without veering off direction, you will veer straight to the goal. Keep your mind on the great and splendid things you would like to do, and then, as the days go gliding away, you will find yourself unconsciously seizing upon the opportunities that are required for the fulfillment of your desire, just as the coral insect takes from the running tide the element it needs. Picture in your mind the able, earnest, useful person you desire to be, and the thought you hold is hourly transforming you into that particular individual….Thought is supreme. Preserve a right mental attitude–the attitude of courage, frankness, and good cheer. To think rightly is to create. All things come through desire and every sincere prayer is answered. We become like that on which our hearts are fixed. Carry your chin in and the crown of your head high. We are gods in the chrysalis.”

“We become like that on which our hearts are fixed”…hmm. I do think so.

I see the power of sincere appreciation.  The person I am now would not have been without that kind of appreciation, and as that book says, “The life of many a person could probably be changed if only someone would make him feel important.”  I think I might never know the impact that a kind word to a child might have, a helping hand given freely to a stranger whom I might never meet again, but I know that seemingly small things can sometimes have huge impacts.  I think it’s usually worth a try.


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