Week 6: Acknowledge someone’s presence
We are so absorbed in our own space, focusing on our daily tasks that we often don’t pay attention to who is around. Who is sitting with us on the bus, who is walking by us on the street, or who is sitting at the adjacent table from us at the bar. By not noticing that someone is there, it is like saying that it doesn’t matter to you one way or another if they exist. That the things you have going on are far more important than acknowledging their presence. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to combat this behaviour.
Next time you go for a walk, take a minute to be conscious of the space you are in and not just where your mind is. Notice the people out on the street and give a smile or quick hello to those who cross your path. It may feel uncomfortable at first to interact with a complete stranger, but the feeling they receive makes all the discomfort worth it! It gets easier too, I promise. By making the quick connection with them, it is your way of telling that person that they matter. That you care about their existence and that you hope they have a good day. You will also help to pass this chain on because now that you have made a connection into their world, they are more likely to smile at the next person they pass, and so on.
Another easy way to make a difference is to those who serve you. This includes those who make your coffee in the morning, bar tenders, waiters, cleaning crews for your house or office, bus drivers, etc. There are so many people that work to make your life what it is, so be sure to give them an extra thank you; they deserve it.
You can also take this action a step further and give your community a free hug. The picture above was taken in Munich, Germany. A woman stood in a crowed square with a sign that read: “FREE HUG” and she gave out, you guessed it, free hugs! What an incredible way to share her love and let you know that you are cared for, even from a complete stranger. It was beautiful and I hope someday I too build up enough courage to stand on the street with my own sign.
Why is it so important to acknowledge someone’s presence? The more we are involved in one another spheres, the stronger and more positive community we are able to build, which leads to better lives for us all.
Watch the movie for the Free Hug Campaign. I love to watch the change in peoples reactions and interactions when they receive a hug.
How have you acknowledged someone’s presence today?