Friday, December 26, 2008


There are some people I just love being around. Gaylyn Barkdull, Kevin Goates, Elena Haban - they just make me feel good each and every time I speak to them.

And after some reflection, I think I know why.

When I say 'hi' and jump into whatever conversation they are already having in the hallways of our church (an incredibly rude habit that I do constantly because otherwise I never get a chance to speak with them), their focus is immediately RIGHT THERE on ME.

Almost everyone (well, maybe not everyone, but I know I do it) is already one or two thoughts ahead when you are speaking to them; what their respondense in going to be, what cute little anecdote they could use, etc. We're all thinking about what we're gonna say back before the other person is even half-way through their first sentence.

In a way, it's normal, at least for people like me. I am not all that quick on my feet, and I have to give my brain some advance notice or I will just be standing there with a goofy look on my face going, "Er, wha!?" then they pause for a response.

(Okay, okay, those of you who know me KNOW that I am normally standing there with a goofy look on my face. Just play along and be nice, okay?)

But these wonderful people, they are not thinking about what they are going to say next, or how to tell me how rude I am (although somebody someday is going to have to do that), but they are totally and completely concentrating on what I am/am going/was saying. They are not looking down the receiving line as a politician does, for example, already ready to shake the next hand without paying any attention to you trying to ask them "And if elected, will you...?."

Nope, chance is already past. Statistically, they have increased their chance of getting your vote just by touching your hand, and that's all they really want. (They have also increased their chance of getting poxvirus, but that's another blog about my close-to-compulsive hand washing).

The few times I have met and actually spoken to a General Authority, their interest and direct concentration on ME was tangible. I was not just a person, I was someone IMPORTANT to them, an equal, someone that they could actually and were willing to serve at that moment.

Hope I can learn something from that.