Most of us were taught it is not polite to stare. We are told that the reason we sweat when standing in front of an audience to give a speech is because staring is hostile, and so we feel hostility coming our way, no matter how sweet and friendly the people there.
When Ted and Betsy Lewin received the privilege of hiking into the jungle to view gorillas, they found the Silver Back Gorilla eating leaves. The gorilla then sat and stared into Ted's eyes, and Ted into his for about an hour. The gorilla also stared into his child's eyes, and the child into his. It was magic to experience, and then, the gorillas took one step and were gone.
We don't sit staring, unless perhaps we are at the beach or in the forest, but for the most part it is thought odd to "stare off into space," and yet the DNA of gorillas is 98-99% identical to that of humans. What do we lose by not allotting a portion of each day to stare?
We now have sanctified meditation as okay, but usually there eyes are bowed or facing a wall. I am enchanted with this idea of staring into space, into the eyes of those I know and love. Perhaps we would also change the world by staring into the eyes of those with whom we are a wee bit less enamored.
We could begin with flowers. Stare at a flower for awhile or a star. Look perhaps at your own reflection in a mirror, look lovingly and kindly.
I read an article this morning that children watch their parents complain about their bodies. Why do we then expect them not to have problems with self-image, with anorexia and bulimia? Notice what we talk about. What are the images with which our children are stuffed? Eat this image, not food.
I announce that today is be kind to ourselves day. Enjoy yourself with friendliness and delight. Share the air with a stare.