Today’s my Other People’s Skin Day. I try to have an OPS Day on the 28th of each month, though sometimes I forget. It can be exhausting, but also uplifting. I started my occasional OPS Days about two years ago after reading one of Thich Nhat Hanh’s book about how we’re all connected. Thich Nhat Hanh is a Buddhist monk with a million books out there and they’re my go-to reading when I’m stressed or just need a bit of a spiritual boost. Anyway, it’s hard to read one of his books without feeling profoundly connected to everyone and everything in a way that goes beyond words. I start to look at other people differently. With the storm devastation in the northeastern United States, I think it’s a particularly good time for an OPS Day.
So what do I do on OPS day? Everyone I see, I imagine myself in that person’s skin. For example, I’m sitting in Starbucks right now and as I look around at the other patrons, I try to feel what it’s like to be them, even if I have to do a lot of imagining. When I put my heart inside of them, it fills me up with love and caring and especially empathy. They’re no longer “the other”. Those folks on TV milling around in the ruins of their homes—they’re me today and I’m them. Those people waiting 8 hours in line to vote—they’re me and I’m them, even if they’re voting for the “other guy.”
Have you ever done this? Want to give it a try with me?
Have a good OPS Day!