Have you had those moments when you are at the counter of that little retail shop and the clerk manages to ask you “How’s it going?”? But not just out of the obligatory sense because you’re upping their commission but from their genuine interest in how you will respond? If you’re anything like me, you’ll feel that for some reason they recognize you as valuable.
Lately I’ve enjoyed a little internal process of attempting to recognize opportunities to do what I can to value people by asking questions and seeking reasons to give praise. I have begun to realize that we all crave to be asked the questions but we’re all fearful to be the ones to ask them. We may have this tendency to crave praise without giving it with our spouses, friends, children, coworkers and so on. We want others see what we offer without having to prod them to recognize it. Some of us may not crave relationship, sex, fame or fortune most of the time but I have this feeling that each of us always has the inherent desire to be valued in whatever unique way it is that we add value. In whatever sphere of influence you are existing in, you have the ability to help people realize their value, and it’s not that hard to accomplish.
Maybe you don’t even know how you add value beyond what your daily demands of you. So I’ll ask you to consider trying this. When you are interacting with someone with whom you have some bit of influence upon, intentionally find a question or a way to compliment them in a manner that’s relevant to the context of your relationship with them. This is sounding borderline cheesy, but just see what this does to their demeanor. You might see that they light up and start talking about their kids, or that they had a difficult time getting out of bed this morning. But also, see what this does to your own heart. When you begin to take on the opportunities to help people recognize their value, you will begin to find that you’re able to see it for yourself. And when you begin to value people you will come to love them. And what is more noble than loving the people that you can love, and to love them well?
We live in a world where too many people feel too alone where they shouldn’t, so be the one to make a change in that feeling. You don’t have to be an executive in a company to do this. You have this opportunity as a parent, partner, employee, someones daughter, husband, etc. Maybe you’re the one who feels alone. The great thing about feeling alone is that the onus is on you all the more to help others not feel that way, and the place to start is with the simple interactions in your daily life.
In whatever context you are living in, just do your best to love people by valuing them.
With so much love,