See The Stranger
I see people every day with dead eyes. There is no light, no hope, no seeing. I hope to cure this problem through the use of acknowledgement.
Acknowledgement in this sense means seeing these strangers, smiling at them and saying hello. To look into their eyes without fear. Acknowledge that they are living human beings that should be treated with dignity and respect.
See This Person
Have you ever gone into a convenience store and the person behind the counter never looks at you. My theory is this happens because no-one really looks at them. People pay all day, talking on their cell phones, talking with their friends, looking at their watch...but never looking at the person who is helping with their purchase.
There is no acknowledgement, no thank you, and no smile. It is as if that person is just a machine behind the counter. No person, just a glorified ATM machine that has no slots. Even if there is a thank you, it is not given sincerely to the other person...it is perfunctory.
Next time you are in this situation, look the person in the eye, smile sincerely, and say thank you. Often times you will see shock in the other person's eyes. Somebody saw them. They were acknowledged. You will see them stand up a little straighter and your smile will pass through them to the next customer.
Ahhh...A little light in our dark world. A strand of love being passed around.
Share a Smile
I have made acknowledging people a habit of mine for several years. There are some unexpected benefits. After doing this a few times, even if you are only in that busy store once a week, people start to remember you. They smile when they see you. They perk up.
I acknowledge people I pass on the street and in elevators and waiting on line. I do it most when I see the despair, the self doubt, the loneliness. When people see that you actually see them, when you acknowledge them, they become happier.
Give a smile to that poor mom with the crying child on line at the grocery store. She knows the child is being annoying. Show her you know that children do that. A smile at this time really does help.
You don't have to start a conversation. Most people don't want to talk, they want to be seen. They want to be acknowledged.
How many people are out there that feel crushed by the loneliness, the loss of hope, the feeling that no-one notices them and as such they are not worthy of notice? How many fall to the apathy this must bring? It is our job to help others. A smile is a free gift, but sometimes it is priceless.
Acknowledge one another! Your acknowledgement of another person may be the difference between their life and death. You may be the reason they snap out of their apathy and think, "yes, I can do this another day!"
See Each Other
Your acknowledgement may give them the strength to go home to their loved ones and share the respect and dignity. Share the happiness. They may realize how much that acknowledgement meant to them and start treating others the same way.
Acknowledgement is a Free Gift
Acknowledgement is a way of spreading love. Love is grounded in dignity and respect. We need to see each other before we can love each other. We all have our worries, we all have stress.
Love through acknowledgement will help the giver also. We all know it feels good to give someone a gift that they like. Acknowledgement is a free gift that every one likes! You feel better about yourself and less stressed with your life when you give this gift. Your step will have more spring to it, your shoulders will be a little straighter.
We don't always have much to contribute in this world...too little money and too little time are the woes of people all over. Acknowledgement is free, it only takes a second, and you don't have to go anywhere other than where you were already headed.
I fight against this world's despair, hate and apathy using the sword of acknowledgement! Will you join my fight? Will you acknowledge and be acknowledged? Acknowledge and see the truth.
Metta-A Simple Word That Means So Much
© 2009 Kari Poulsen