Notice. As a kiddo, it seems to come naturally when one says, “Hey! Look! Look what I can do! See what I drew! Listen to me read! Watch me!” Loving parents, grandparents, adults, siblings, etc. then respond with their full attention in an ideal world. Children need that reassurance and, I believe, rightfully so.
I wonder why some people think this inner need dissipates as we grow older. In teaching young adults, I want them to know what they write, think, and say matters. If a student lingers after class to share with me an idea or e-mails me a short story written in his/her free time, I am elated. I want them to know I will gladly drop what I am doing because I am interested, and they deserve my full attention.
This feeling of wanting others to know they matter and my taking notice most definitely stems from my adult desire for others to think I matter, too. Now in my forties, I have learned reassurance and interest from others all but disappears. People are more apt to criticize, complain, or simply clam up (yes, I embrace alliteration fully) rather than notice.
Today I noticed the man behind me in line at the drive-thru. He looked like he had a lot on his mind as he was shuffling through some sort of paperwork. He was driving a minivan, so I assumed perhaps he had children which may mean a full weekend ahead after the close of this work week. Inspired by a friend’s act of JOYing someone, I decided to treat this man to breakfast anonymously. Driving away I was smiling because I was hoping this man knew someone took notice of him today.
How will you take the time and show people you notice them today?