My latest “Aha!” moment arrived the other morning when I passed a neighbor/friend in the street. If I had been paying attention, I would have noticed his body language: definitely down. As we passed each other, he asked how I was, and I smiled and said “Great!”. We moved on. And suddenly it hit me, like the proverbial ton of bricks, how insensitive and unconscious I had been – and have been on countless similar occasions.
In my mind’s eye, and in my psyche, I re-experienced what I hadn’t noticed in that moment. Why that moment? I suppose it could have been that the contrast between us gave me a little jolt – and I’ve always been a bit slow to absorb a sudden idea – as if my brain needs to slow it down first, roll it around, look at it from all sides, before I really take it in.
When I ‘fearlessly analyzed’ this idea, I realized that it had been trying to get in for awhile. Knocking at the door, so to speak.
The memory of this tiny event kept coming back – through other conversations, chores, outings, so I had to actually look this one square in the eye. I had been insensitive and unconscious – definitely not ‘in the moment’. When I passed him this morning, I stopped, looked and listened – to his voice, his body language, and his words. It felt as if we really saw each other – a ‘connect’.
It wasn’t time-consuming, or energy-zapping; in fact it was probably somewhat enriching, in some small way. And I suspect these automated greetings are often the by-product of an excessively cerebral type such as myself. We can be so pre-occupied with our ‘thinking and dreaming’ that we fail to experience the here-and-now. The place where reality happens.
You have no idea what a good and kind person you are. Most people do not go to this level of thinking about others as you do. They go along in life asking ‘how are you’ and never really listen to the response never mind noting their body language.