Rethinking Care: How We Connect With People
Do you genuinely care about the people in your life?
If you are interested, concerned, or connected with the people in your life, even moderately care about them, there might be cause to look closer at the idea of who’s in your life. Some of them may be getting over looked.
I have several degrees, a diverse workforce background, traveled the world at least twice as a US Marine, and have no challenges feeling comfortable around highly influential people. But, due to complicated circumstances not long ago I took a job as a janitor in a highly respected law school.
Fortunately for me it was at a time in my life that I was extremely focused on my goals and possessed a healthy dose of self-esteem. I went about changing trashcan plastic liners that flanked bustling hallways full of International law students waiting for their classes to begin.
It became a game for me to see who would make eye contact as we passed by each other, momentarily, though briefly, entering in and out of each other’s life. Will he recognize I’m standing here? Will she acknowledge me cleaning up her spilled latte? All done while making a diligent effort to connect eyes before I shared a caring hello, “How are you?” or one of my favorites, “What’s good with you today?” I was on the other end this time.
How many times had I missed an opportunity to bring someone unnoticed into my world? How often had I over looked a chance to engage the forgotten in the course of my selfish journey? Would I ever learn to ask a subordinate what he dreamed about at night or what gifts he was trying to share with the world?
Now I can truly understand the caring spirit of political journalist Tim Russert and what the giant in this man meant to the people in his life. Not just those who could influence his life. Not just those he loved unconditionally. Tim cared about the otherwise unnoticed people placed in his life.
As I researched the many articles and podcast reporting the life he lived I learned that no one went untouched by his kind and encouraging character. All of the people in our life can be affected by the life we live. I think I get it.
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