You is kind.
You is smart.
You is important.
Some of my favorite lines from the movie, The Help. (Kathryn Stockett)
I was reminded today of someone who made people feel that way when they talked to them.
Let me step back a moment first though.
I’ve recently started a part-time job, and one of the things that I’m trying to do is remember alot of new names and faces. I was thinking about some of them this morning and also thinking about some of the little personal things that I already knew about them that is helping me remember and building that personal connection or relationship with them.
My community is expanding.
It is when we listen, share and learn something personal about the people around us that we can really learn to care and love each other. The person who seems distant may be shy or have a relative in the hospital. A seemingly imposing figure may just be a giant of a teddy bear. How do we find this out? By mainly taking the time to listen.
Too often when I’m busy, or when I’m “on a project” I can get so focused, I forget to listen. I’m so engrossed with what I’m doing or what project I want to accomplish that I tune out what is happening around me. I can get mired down in the details, particularly when there is a deadline, and focus so much on the details that anyone not working around me I can become critical of. Sometimes I will tell the person, and sometimes I may not vocalize it, but I’m thinking it. I’m talking about people doing their job, not just sliding by or passing the buck.
Working hard is okay, being judgemental isn’t. As I’ve
aged, matured I recognize the negative traits in me quicker. I’m not proud of them, I’m just stating a truth.
Sigh. Forgive me, Lord for my sins. I’ll let you handle theirs. Forgive my impatience.
I’m striving for a more balanced approach. I’ve seen that example in Scripture, over and over. (I must not be the only one that needs the constant reminder) Jesus always took time to talk to people, made a personal connection with people. Never too busy.
With this strived, balanced approach of being produtive and aware, I was thinking how could I show this to the people I have met? Perhaps, asking one girl about her van that was in the shop, to show I was paying attention, or asking about the health of a loved one.
I started thinking, ‘I am never going to remember all this’. (As mentioned, I’m maturing, i.e., mind can only hold so much).
I thought about someone in my life who had a knack for remembering names, details, it seemed about all the people she came in contact with. I thought about my Aunt MaryAnn.
She had a way of making you feel special when you talked to her. She remembered things about you. You were important to her. She asked questions. She listened.
At her funeral, my cousin, Michael talked about her special gifts. He said she had a way of always making you feel special, and when she talked to you and asked you questions, she really wanted to know about you and what was going on. He said she was so interested in the lives of those she cared for and loved. He talked about running into people that he hadn’t seen in a while who would know all about him and his family, because his Mom would have talked with them and was current with their families’ going’s on and vice versa. (We are talking down to children and grandchildren!)
She was an encourager with her words. You couldn’t stay down in the dumps. She was a motivator, even during her battle with ovarian cancer.
My last, lengthly conversation with her was happy and bittersweet. She wanted to know all about my family and how everyone was doing and what was going on. She wanted to celebrate with me any accomplishments. She had soothing words for family that is not around. She had joyous words for loved ones around her. She had peaceful, confident words for where she was going. I was able to say goodbye, for now, and I love you. Too often we don’t get that chance.
So, I’m thinking today about those around me.
Jesus feels the same way about them. He feels the same way about me. He feels the same way about you.
You is kind.
You is special.
You is important.