September is well underway… how’s your vision?

According to the big fat Love Project master plan, it’s the “month of seeing.” This is the month where we all take a minute – lots of minutes, actually – to see beyond the easy labels we assign each other to the real, breathing, complicated human beings we are.

Of course we know it, certainly about ourselves – that we are not the degrees we hold (or don’t), the jobs we have (or don’t), the churches we attend (or don’t). We’re not where we live or who we’re related to. We’re not simply parents or sons or daughters or siblings. We’re not our allergies, our illnesses, our size, or even our passions. We are the sum total of all of those things and more, and the challenge in September is to see that fullness in each other, to appreciate that there are whole, big, messy, beautiful lives that extend beyond our brief intersections.

Before you start thinking there isn’t enough time in the day for you to listen to every stranger’s story, let me say that I don’t mean that. What I’m talking about is much more basic. It’s an attitude, a determination to recognize the value in everyone you meet. I guarantee that the minute you start thinking of your waiter as a man and not a waiter, you’ll treat him differently, and he’ll respond. That’s true for the bank teller, the grocery store clerk, and the beleaguered call center support operator.

I know it’s true, because I’ve done it. I’ve experienced the magic that happens when two people become… well, two people – more than just business rep and customer, more than teacher and parent, doctor and patient. And the truth is, it really doesn’t take any extra time to connect more meaningfully with people, it takes extra awareness, kindness, love.

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