I’ve had several roaming thoughts this past week that culminated into a beautiful, slightly painful, self-awareness. And yes, this is still a culture tip. Just a bit of a deeper dive and a somewhat self-indulgent stream of consciousness.
Idea #1: “If you can’t see me, I can’t see you”
Belting out this song lyric by Courtney Barnett I was taken by how it beautifully sums up how, if you don’t see me as a living, breathing, imperfect human being full of experiences and potential, chances are I don’t see you as really real either.
Idea #2: You matter. Regardless of your power position.
In workplaces, this is obvious. Regardless of your position in the company, you contribute to its success. However this past week I was struck by societal implications as well.
Based on the work I did with a home care client of mine – if you’re old, you still matter. You’re still relevant, important and have value. (Also from the sign looking for homes for eggless hens.)
From my stepson’s perspective that access to affordable shelter should trump the right to own land, human dignity should matter more than stuff.
And from how my beautiful friend Hava patiently shares and explains to her two 6-year old twins adult conversations, ideas and stories in a way they can be included. (And how kids blossom beneath my friend Sam’s fully present listening to them.)
Idea #3: If you just think, “I see you” and don’t say it, it doesn’t matter.
Just recently my dad sent me a newspaper article on culture. He took the time to cut it out, put it in an envelope, put my address, add a stamp and take it to the mailbox. (AND he put a post-it-note on top of one spot of the article “do not remove, sticky from honey”.)
He thought of me and let me know.
And here’s my self-awareness: my strength is being fully present. When I’m sitting in front of you, I’m ALL there. I’m listening, I’m curious, I’m considering.
This is also my weakness. When you’re not sitting in front of me, I fail to let you know I still care. I will think of you when I’m walking my dog, on a run or driving to a client, but I don’t let you know.
I want to believe I’m the type of person who would bake a homemade pie for the new neighbor – and it’s simply not going to happen. Instead I’m the type of person who waves a big hello when I see him at the mailbox.
And yet I don’t see all those I care about at my mailbox.
So here’s the big idea, that’s so little, and yet for me today, is especially big: take the time to let people know they matter. To bear witness to whom they are and what they’re up to in the world. Acknowledge, be curious, share – be it a post-it-note, text, e-mail, call, note, shared article, or social media.
So whether it’s your workplace, your home, your neighbors or the eggless hens, know it doesn’t have to be a homemade baked pie. It really can just be a small touch to say, hey, I’m thinking of you, you matter, I see you.
Leave theory behind and start taking action, today.
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