Just “Not Feeling It”
Walking through the Grand Bazaar here is quite impressive. You enter through massive stone gates and are covered within under the historic tiled domes. My sight was assaulted by colors… Color in the tiles, inside of the shops, in embroidery, and colors shining through the Turkish lights… It was wonderful.
While there is much beauty to admire, I was overwhelmed with the amount of visitors (they says 200,000 to 400,000 people daily) and shop owners trying to convince us all to wander into their shops. I even got grabbed or touched a few times, which is a no-no in my local Middle Eastern culture (okay, maybe in American culture too).
I am not a fan of unwanted attention. If I’m honest… I was very annoyed, so I shut down and slipped away off of the bazaar streets.
Later on in the day, my friend and I visited the Blue Mosque. There was a man holding an iPad, patiently waiting to take photos. He kept gesturing towards us, holding his little iPad camera. Sadly, I thought he wanted our photo (to charge us money?), so I completely ignored him.
I think I am slowly starting to expect the worst from people, which isn’t good…
After waiting for us to finish our photos, he kindly requested we take his photo, in broken English. I felt so bad! I had been completely ignoring him and shutting him out that whole time. He was traveling alone and just needed a photo… I made him wait and was rude, unnecessarily.
How often do I block people out -especially days like today, because I’m “just not feeling it?”
It’s easy for me to put on my poker face, ignore those around me, and avoid even looking at others I pass on the streets. It’s typical when walking in my city here in the East and it’s what I’ve been doing here at the bazaar…
Still in the midst of the chaos and in the middle of -my- little annoyances, we are still interacting with others made in the image of our Creator. People that He cares and loves so strongly and deeply.
I may never sit down and have a conversation with these shop keepers or people I’m passing along the sidewalks…
I was reminded that we are called to love, honor one another, and be kind.
It’s okay to smile.
It’s okay to look to keep my head up, aware of my surroundings and those around me.
It’s okay to say no, but politely. To put my hand over my heart to show a little more kindness…
It’s okay to see the beggar… To speak. To smile… Even to give.
So to end my story of my day…
I have had several cups of tea in various local shops.
I listened and watched as a store keeper showed me his collection of foreign money that he plans on giving his son one day.
I took a few photos for a very kind and patient stranger.
I also learned the art of politely declining shop owners with a smile.
Good things, I easily could have missed.
Remember to see others.
To speak kindly and gently.
You have an opportunity to bring life to others…
We first must choose to see!