The online world is a sh*t show.
Everyone attacking everyone. No one listens, everyone screams. Then while scrolling Twitter today I accidentally got one of those giant grins.
Whenever Keanu Reeves is trending you know it’s going to be a feel-good story. In this age of political outrage, a bat virus and climate change paranoia, Keanu is perhaps one of the few good things left on social media.
The small Keanu encounters that changed humanity
Keanu was recently at JFK airport in New York.
Sporting his usual trucker hat, laidback outfit and all alone like always, a boy notices him despite his N95 mask (a sign of high intelligence that most Americans no longer wear …. a sign of respect for others too).
The boy starts to bombard Keanu with random questions.
Kid: I saw online you were at the Grand Prix (pronouncing the x)
KR: Yes, the Grand Prix (in a French accent, without correcting him). F1! Race cars!
Kid: Why are you in NY?
KR: Gonna see a broadway show!
Kid: What broadway show?
KR: American Buffalo! Mamet!
Kid: Where are you staying in NY?
(By this time the kid was running out of questions, so Keanu started grilling him)
KR to Kid: Why were you in Europe? What galleries did you go to in Paris? What was your favorite?
The first part you’ll notice is Keanu’s manners. He didn’t correct the kid’s incorrect pronunciation of “Grand Prix.” It’s also worth noting he plays with the kid by replying in a French accent.
(I researched Keanu’s visit to the French Grand Prix too. He didn’t sit in the VIP seats. Nope. He chose to sit in the stands with the general public. He got drenched by the rain as a result. The F1 commentators thought he was weird for doing it.)
When the kid asks where he’s going Keanu doesn’t think to conceal his private itinerary the way a typical trash bag Hollywood celebrity would.
All the way through the questions he keeps answering until the boy has no more. This shows patience and Zen-level calmness (so rare in today’s world).
Even more bizarre, Keanu asks the boy his own questions. This shows that Keanu genuinely cares and isn’t just trying to be polite.
The deeply misunderstood obsession of Keanu Reeves
You know if he’s spotted somewhere going about his life, as if he’s a nobody despite his movies making him a cultural icon, he’s going to remind us of how good humans should act.
See, what makes us go crazy over Keanu is he’s one of the few gentlemen left in the world.
- Humble as hell
- Happy to be lonely
- Plenty of pauses in conversations
- Secretly charitable outside of the spotlight
I’m not joking when I say this — but I wouldn’t be surprised if Keanu becomes a religious icon in the future. Or even as note-worthy as the Buddha himself. There’s something deeply spiritual about him that makes him seem like he’s from another world.
Just when you think you know him he breaks paradigms. Even his girlfriend is an unconventional choice for what society would expect of him.
It’s as if he’s quietly thinking in his head, f*ck em, I’m going to do the opposite of what they expect.
The reaction to Keanu always brings a smile
When I started to read the replies to this airport encounter with Keanu, I couldn’t stop smiling.
People called him a national treasure, the last good human left, a savior for a bad day. One guy said that Keanu shows that being incredibly awesome to strangers is still a viable option.
Then more strangers always seem to pile into the comments with their stories recounting similar experiences with Keanu.
In his quest to be normal, he’s become a giant weirdo. The illusion feeds on itself to produce a kind of mythological character almost too good to be human. Does someone not have a single negative story about him?
Ask yourself this powerful question to change the world
The other night I was leaving a vegan restaurant with my wife and a gentleman in a navy blue tracksuit walked towards me.
“Hey man, I read your work. Thanks so much for everything you do.”
My wife was taken back. She doesn’t know to handle these occasional encounters. I never used to be able to either. Then my research of Keanu gave me the answer.
When you’re about to interact with a stranger for the first time, ask yourself…
What would Keanu do?
So I asked myself that question that led to these actions: I politely said thank you. I didn’t run in the other direction. I didn’t act like a big shot. I didn’t dismiss the stranger.
Without Keanu’s example, humility and kindness are harder to cultivate.
In a deeply divided America, we need more Keanu moments
It’s not just America. The whole world could do with more Keanu.
He’s a reminder we can be happy with the small things in life. He’s a reminder to treat others with kindness. He’s a reminder that no tragedy has to become an excuse to destroy our lives.
Keanu is a powerful cultural figure that has transcended Hollywood. Learn about Keanu to learn about how you should act during these uncertain and strange times.
Kindness and humility really can change the world.