Hey, we are all entitled to our opinions, right?

Well I’m about to express my opinion on the city where I was born; the city where I was raised for 7 years of my life; the city where I live now. That city is San Francisco, California.

Now I call this city “the ugliest, prettiest city” for a reason. The architecture, hills, beaches and overall landscape of the city is beautiful! I mean no other city that I have lived or been to has compared.

I’ve lived in Washington, DC, Maryland, Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Boston and the US Virgin Islands and none have come close. Ok, maybe the US Virgin Islands – haha. Maybe Paris too, but I only visited.

San Francisco is still up there though.

This city is gorgeous! I feel like every week I am finding some new park, new beach, new hiking trail or whatever that blows me away. The dog park, Fort Funston, where Elmira (my dog) and I go almost everyday is one of my favorites. I can’t get enough of the nature, hills, sand, beach and overall scenery. It’s breathtaking to me.

But that’s where the beauty stops for me here in San Francisco.

Yes, it is a highly rated city when it comes to looks, but just like my last blog post, is looks really everything in life? My answer is a resounding “NO!”

Looks is for sure not everything.

When you stop to look inside the city, at the people, to me that is where the beauty stops. Now I know I can’t speak for every person in the city. But after being back here for over a year now and working at the Apple Store in one of the busiest malls in the city for 5 months, volunteering at my church (yes, my church) and just experiencing the city, I’m hurt.

I’m not just hurt, I’m angry!

Where is the Fruit of the Spirit as we see in Galatians 5: 22-23? Where is the kindness? Where is the gentleness? Where is the goodness? Where is the patience?

WHERE IS THE LOVE?!!!

Everyone seems to be in a rush, nobody talks to one another, people seem overall just rude, entitled and arrogant and it’s pissing me off!

Do people think they are better than because they live in one of the most expensive and “beautiful” cities in the world?

News flash people, this isn’t heaven and God created the entire world, not just San Francisco.

Now again, I know I can’t speak for everyone, but the moments of kindness I have seen this past year have been few and far between. I thank the Lord when I’m in a Target line and someone says to another person that they can go ahead or if someone asks another person how they are doing. It brightens my day and I thank God for it.

The bright side to all this though is that it has made me kinder, I believe. At least more openly kind. I speak more now as I used to be more reserved and quite. At the dog park, I try to say “hello” or “good morning” to almost everyone I pass. Sometimes asking them how they are doing.

I love doing that because some people seem shocked by it and others so happy to hear those kind words. I picked up a ladies dog poop once because she was carrying her child and didn’t want her to kneel down to get it and you would of thought I was Jesus Christ himself by the way she reacted. The ones that really get me are the people who don’t want me to leave because they enjoy my conversation. I’m not doing anything but actively listening to them.

There is a difference in how you can listen to a person, I believe.

Working at Apple you are taught to watch your body language. If you are listening to a customer who is interested in buying a new iPhone for example, don’t have a conversation with a coworker or look around the store. Be attentive with the customer, make eye contact, repeat back things they said and show them you are paying attention to everything they have to say as best as you can. You can do this without saying one word and solely your body language.

Now some of you may have known that already, but I just wanted to put it out there. I believe I’ve always known that (not trying to be cocky) or by growing up with my grandparents. But living here in San Francisco, I’ve learned that that type of listening is a virtue.

I’ve considered moving out and leaving the city but it’s hard. I mean where do I go? What job do I look for? Can I afford to leave and live somewhere else? It’s frustrating.

I have no problem giving out kindness, but I need my daily dose as well. Just one person to listen to me at least and hear about my day. Actively listen to me and not passively. I believe this blog is serving that purpose since losing my girlfriend.

I stopped seeing my therapist because I felt like a crazy person as I’ve been in and out of a therapists office since my parents divorced when I was around 6 or 7. I needed a break. Plus, who cared if I was going or not? Nobody really encouraged me to go or checked to see how I was doing. My ex did, but she’s gone.

I needed to take some time off.

But after taking time off, I realized something. A huge revelation came through. I was paying someone $170 a week to do what I do to people every week for free. To actively listen to me. No distractions, nothing pulling them away for 50 minutes to an hour. Someone who would give me their undivided attention for a set period of time each week.

And you know what? It felt Amazing!

But isn’t it crazy that I have to pay for someone to listen to me? I get it people have busy lives, but you can’t stop for 5-10 minutes, put away your cell phone, stop bouncing your eyes and really listen to what another person has to say? Does everyone have to have a PHD in Psychology to actively listen to another person?

Rick Warren made a Great point in his book “The Purpose Driven Life” and that’s that “the greatest gift you can give someone is your time.” I love that!

It just makes me SO mad though that people here and other places too don’t value or appreciate that. I don’t care about how much money you have, your car, your house on the rich side of town, your socioeconomic status. I care about you.

I want to listen to you and how you are feeling.

I don’t know how much longer I can keep giving and not receiving. I could go back to my therapist, but I don’t know.

“God, please show me why you brought me back to San Francisco where I was born? Is there a reason? If so, please show me. Please give me the strength to keep moving forward as I feel depleted. Thank you for putting this on my mind to share. In Jesus name, Amen.”

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