“Better than a thousand hollow words is one that brings peace.”
Nick Adkins (one of the 15 people celebrated in my upcoming book) greets people with the phrase “I see you.” And that sentiment of “I see you” is worlds away from the more common and banal-or dare I say hollow- “nice to meet you”.
Being seen is something we all want. To be noticed, recognized and valued. This topic comes to mind after a conversation I recently had.
A business friend contacted me to check out the bona fides of a mutual acquaintance. He told me a story of how he investigated this person and what turned up. The story had all the elements of mystery: an off-shore connection, a thin but elegant on-line representation, and ultimately legal and financial irregularities that ranged from incarceration to curious real estate purchases. My friend concluded that this person was not who he represented himself to be.
Because we both had connections to this dubious character through Linked In, my friend had reached out to me. We hadn’t connected for a while, so I asked about what he was doing. And I volunteered that I had a book coming out and was hoping to parlay that into some speaking engagements.
“I don’t like public speaking,” he replied. And the conversation was over.
He didn’t ask a single question. What’s the book about? What made you decide to write it? What are your plans? Sadly, this type of “conversation” isn’t unusual. I am always stunned by how people talk about themselves, but never inquire about others.
I actually think this tendency of self pre-occupation to the exclusion of others is a national dilemma, if not a national emergency. Wrapped up in our own little worlds, we fail to see a broader vision. We fail to see each other. And in doing that, we fail to feel. Empathy dies and the world reflects its demise.
So this week, I suggest you take on a task if you’re game. See someone. Interact, and get out of your own world and into theirs. See how you feel after doing that, and see if it’s worth pausing long enough to do it more often. Caring a bit about others just might be good for you. Karma and all that!
Have a great week seeing people anew.