I See You
Being fully present is a fine art.
We are bombarded with distractions in the modern world. The average person checks his smartphone 58 times a day. You might be in the midst of a deep conversation when, at a moment’s notice, your smartphone goes off and the moment is lost. But the greater loss could be the real-time human connections that are right in front of you instead. How often do you speak with someone and look away? How do you handle a situation when your conversation with someone is interrupted by someone else? What do you do to stay completely engaged in a discussion and listen with as much intention as you talk?
I’ve learned that there’s a real gift to providing one’s undivided attention, and I credit my grandchildren with showing me the rewards.
Concentration in the here and now is a tough job. We often get immersed in what may have happened in the past or what we are getting ready for in the future to the point that we lose the full benefit of the present. However, a simple game of peek-a-boo has given me the most profound lesson to make today count to the fullest.
With three grandchildren now, I have played many games of peek-a-boo and I’m always amazed at how delighted the kids are that you really see them. It’s a game that requires full engagement and attention with the person you’re playing with, which in my case can be as little as 8 months old. And yet, this exercise is like so many other lessons I am learning from my grandkids. Once again, through their example, the values that I’ve spent so much time promoting to others is reinforced in a magical way.
When people know that “you truly see them” and acknowledge their presence, they feel special. And if we think about the peek-a-boo game analogy, it’s hard to play and not be sincere in acknowledging the other person. The laughs, giggles and smiles I get in return make my full attention with them in that moment priceless. That, in turn, reminds me how valuable it is to truly see others with that same intention.
Today I’m challenging myself to play a little game of peek-a-boo with every person I get face-to-face with to be sure they know that “I see them.” I challenge you to try and do the same.