Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A SISTERLY CUE

Tonight's blog comes as a homage to my sister.  She is enviably the most people oriented person I know, someone who is in love with people and engages with them wherever she is.  Consequently, the family joke is that she knows 'everybody,' can't go anywhere without running into someone she knows.  Now I used the phrase "running into someone," a common expression usually meaning seeing someone you know and exchanging a few pleasantries.  But my sister connects with them and people recognize it.  For her the world is truly small and she likes it that way.

I do envy this in her and wish I were more consistently this way.  But I tend to forget a face, a name and find it difficult when someone knows me and my name to confess I've forgotten theirs.  For my sister connecting with people is her calling, never too busy to talk and chat, never preoccupied with other things.  When you bump into her she is genuinely glad to see you and to pick up where you left off.  We all could take a lesson from her.  She is so exceptional at this.

But we tend to be in a hurry, not in the mood, thinking of other things, places we're going or things we should be doing.  Now retired I try to be more engaged with people and it's fascinating how people's demeanor changes when you open yourself up, even to start a conversation.  I remember seeing this older woman (I mean older than I am 75 - 80ish) stopped with her cart at the grocery store perhaps thinking if she'd forgotten to put something down on her list.  She had a lovely sweater on and I stopped and remarked about how pretty it was.  She, of course, said she'd had it for a long time and then told me that no one had ever just stopped and talked to her like that. We parted both saying it was nice talking to each other.

It really is important, you know.  Putting yourself out there, showing an interest in another human being.  Try it.  I think you'll be surprised at how good it feels and how it can brighten your day.

PERSON TO PERSON
By Patty Lynn

"Don't you dare judge a book
By it's cover," they say,
I would have to agree;
That would be a mistake.

First impressions can be,
Though they may come on strong,
So often deceiving,
Can be terribly wrong.

You have to dig deeper.
Invest kindness and time.
For not making the effort
Surely would be a crime.

I've noticed that people
By a simple expression
Give a message that's hardly
Their intended intention.

That person behind you
Who seems unapproachable,
If you give them a chance
They might be, well, sociable.

Sure, they are a stranger
And you might be shy...
But take a deep breath;
Just give it a try.

Think, almost in passing,
Of a comment, I mean,
It might be the weather
'Bout a storm unforeseen.

Then say it out loud
And I bet you will find
That the stranger, that person
May be of like mind.

So often from this comes
Some real conversation.
That face that was sour
Shows real animation.

With women I comment
On her shoes or her hair,
Her groceries, her children,
In that moment right there.

You'll see her face brighten
Engaged, ice's broken.
It's amazing how simple,
If those words are just spoken.

We all know that we live
In a world that's impersonal.
So just take a chance
And become conversational.

It's a step that can bring
Person-ality back.
More person to person
Is what this world lacks.

So put yourself out there
And here's what you'll learn:
Your faith in humanity?
Why...that faith can return!


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