Attention Deficit Disorder. I do not have this officially but sometimes, ok, most of the time I have a hard time focusing on one thing at a time.  In a big crowd, my mind is all over the place, my head is turning to see everything that is going on, watching the door, watching the food, watching the door, watching the people, who is talking to who, who is talking to who for the entire night, who is eating what, who is eating the entire night, who is laughing, who is crying, who is tired, who is picking fights.  God help the poor soul who gets into a conversation with me! Of course I want to talk to that wonderful person but I have to watch the door, watch the food, watch the door, etc.

I like to think that I would make a great Superhero because I always know what’s going on, where the exits are in case there is a fire,  who is causing trouble, etc.

Which brings me to last week on the bus.  It was the end of the day.  I was tired.  Tired of people, tired of noise, tired of everything.  I just wanted to go home.  So, I’m sitting there on the good ol’ bus that’s packed with interesting people as usual.  And then she walked on.

A girl in her 20’s with a guy in his 20’s.  Normal looking people.  Average height, average looks, average clothes.  She had a wedding set on and he did not and by the way they were interacting with each other, they were either co-workers or just friends. Call me creepy, but I stared at her the entire ride home.  It was unbelievable-not that I was staring at her but the way she interacted with this rather dull looking guy.  Seriously, he was not that interesting from the outside nor was there anything that I could overhear that sounded that profound.  He didn’t act, look or sound like the next Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Michael Jordan, Brad Pitt, or Barack Obama.

They were sitting in the “accordion” part of the bus, facing each other. I was in the back part of the bus, facing them.  He seemed to be talking more than her. I heard words like “Twitter” and other social networking words. Harmless conversation for 2 friends/co-workers.  Nothing to write home about. This married woman, who didn’t act like she was interested in this man in an inappropriate way, was completely engrossed in this conversation.  NOT ONCE did her head turn away from talking to him.  NOT ONCE did she look around the bus to see who else was around. NOT ONCE did she look down, away, figit with her bag.  NOT ONCE did she act aloof, too good, uninterested.  NOT ONCE!!! Her eyes were glued to him and when he was talking she was nodding.  I got dizzy just watching her head.  Nodding in agreement, nodding in interest, nodding in acceptance.

That girl was so affirming, polite, sweet, encouraging.  It was AMAZING.  She was confident in her appearance, her response, her posture. She was not fiddling with her hair, picking her nose, smacking her gum, itching her head.  She wasn’t looking around for the exits, wasn’t looking at other guys, wasn’t looking to see who smelled.

And I know.  Because I was taking notes on her.

When she talked, her eyes would look up or to the side briefly like we all do when we are thinking-but her head didn’t turn.  She was thinking, not trying to escape.

The entire 20 minutes with them, I kept thinking, “This girl is incredible.  This guy has her undivided attention. She isn’t married to him, not related to him, not employed by him and yet, she’s got it!  She’s got something I have rarely had.  The ability to make someone feel like they are the most important person, saying the most important thing.  She is acting like JESUS!”

It’s not a gift to do that-make someone feel special.  When that person has nothing to offer you, nothing you need, no positions to offer—are you still engrossed in the conversation?  When there are 1000 other people to talk to, look at-are you still making the person right in front of you feel celebrated?  To love people-no strings attached.  To listen to people-without interrupting or putting words in their mouth.

It’s not a gift but it is an art.  The art of celebrating people.  With your attention, your eyes, your acceptance.  Believing the best about them, clarifying when you are not sure what they are saying but at the same time, telling them, that even if you don’t completely understand, you still like them.

To put it succinctly:

Love people.  Talk to them.  Listen closely.  Life is too short to do otherwise.

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