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Make Me Feel Important!

Updated on April 15, 2009

You've been there so you know what it's like...

He was looking dejected when I approached the counter to order some coffee. I asked if he’d been having a rough day. “No, I’m fine.” He wasn’t fine. There was no one behind me in line so I engaged him for a few moments. “This place can be a bit hectic. I come here most mornings. People are in a hurry, anxious to get wherever they’re going, not meaning to hurt anyone. It just happens. They sometimes forget that the person behind the counter is having a hectic morning, too.” He looked up at me with a faint smile. I handed him a $5 tip. He glowed. “People don’t realize how important you are to them. You’re the one who gets them back on the road with this great coffee. You matter.” His look of gratitude was all I needed. My day was already made.

You may not want to admit it but when you’re overlooked, taken for granted, or abused by customers, bosses, or others who have some kind of authority over you, face it: you don’t like it.

However. . .

No one, as the saying goes, can make us feel inferior without our permission. Each time we respond to the world by giving it the power to make us feel awful about ourselves, we lose just a little more ground, a little more personal power. And the more power we give up, the worse we feel.

Here’s your opportunity to feel a little better about yourself: Consciously choose to see the importance of each person you interact with today. Just for a moment or two, take your mind off yourself. Recognize that everyone is engaged in his or her own kind of suffering. This is the beginning of compassion.

OK, now back to you.



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    • RichardSpeaks profile imageAUTHOR

      Richard Kent Matthews 

      9 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area

      shibashake: Of course. We all have to crawl before we walk. Believe me, I'm still crawling, too, but I just might have one foot up now. Let's hope...

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 

      9 years ago

      Hah - I'm afraid they are a bit too challenging for me at this point. Baby steps :)

    • RichardSpeaks profile imageAUTHOR

      Richard Kent Matthews 

      9 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area

      shibashake: The nasty people are the ones who need the most love. They're in our lives to point out how into ourselves we are. They're the challenge we need to come out of our own selfishness. And sometimes the nastiest person we ever deal with is staring back from our mirror. Challenging, right? Keep me posted...

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 

      9 years ago

      Oh I agree with you. Practically though, instinct often takes over and everything else goes out the door. Maybe we need some kind of shock collar :)

      For me, I just avoid nasty people as much as I can. It is easier to focus on the nice or at least neutral people.

    • RichardSpeaks profile imageAUTHOR

      Richard Kent Matthews 

      9 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area

      shibashake: Hardest work we are ever called to do is to take our minds off ourselves. It is the heart of all great spiritual paths. It is discipline, practice, commitment, overcoming, courage, detachment, awakening...you get the point.

      And it's worth the effort and the journey. Surprisingly, the less we focus upon ourselves, the more we receive. And yet, the less we need. Ironic, no?

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 

      9 years ago

      Problem is, it is extremely hard work not to focus on ourselves. We are fighting many years of evolution :)

    • profile image

      Whikat 

      9 years ago

      What excellent advice, and very nice story. I am going to choose to use your advice all day tomorrow. I will let you know how I feel at the end of the day. Thank you for an important reminder, I know this works, because sometimes the only way I can get my mind off my problems is when someone else is having problems, and then I am too worried about them to care about my own problems.

    • earnestshub profile image

      earnestshub 

      9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      And over to you. Bloody marvelous.

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