Confirming One Another’s Existence

People we haven't given ourselves permission to feel comfortable with

Good Morning, God!

Yesterday, My Favorite Curmudgeon was telling me that she was upset that she was the only one who hugged “Mike” or made a point of acknowledging him. (Not his right name to protect a lot of us.)

Mike is in a wheelchair and — after I saw how my friend Geri from Kauai lavished Mike with attention and prayers — I do try to say “hello.” But, God, I needed Geri’s example to even get started on the absolutely basic task of confirming another person’s EXISTENCE AS A HUMAN BEING!

So, now, after a good burst of indignation from My Favorite Curmudgeon I am shamed into overcoming my “social awkwardness” and will be more aware of my obligation as a fellow human being.

But, God, this isn’t just about Mike. It is about so very many opportunities we have during the day to Pause and Pay Attention. Not just show interest — BE INTERESTED — in our fellow humans. Smiling at the people I jog by — learning and using people’s names — sending a card to show I care.

Years ago I came across a quote by Paul Watzlawich, “The Primary Purpose of Human Communication is to Confirm Our Existence as Human Beings.” As soon as I read it, God, I thought THIS IS TRUE!

It seems to me, God, that maybe words are the least part of communication. Smiling, nodding, waving — aaah, and LISTENING — these are things we can all do. The only word that really matters is the NAME of the person we are with.

After all, I can ask You — call all the Stars by Name — to help me learn and use people’s names.

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Story teller,

Posted in Communication, connections

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