Shocking but true, I know, but not everyone hangs on to my every utterance—some probably, by tooth and nail, hang on at all. I know this because I know people, whom for me as listener; put me in both camps, at times. That is fine—that is why God made chocolate and vanilla and someone for everyone, etc and so forth…. But this Thanksgiving holiday family gatherings had me revisiting a perplexing nook in this truth.
Arriving at my sister’s and brother in law’s home, I was warmly greeted all around—everyone in good holiday demeanor and inquiring as to each others lives since last meeting. My sister and I talked long and circuitously about family and family events, warming to the soul.
Later, my brother in law sidled up and with a warm smile, asked how things have been going. I quickly scanned to the horizons of my life looking for interesting but short story length examples. I guess that I had forgotten the fine print that had traditionally accompanied his questions, at least where I had been infrequently involved. They said, ‘in 25 words or less’—oops; my mistake was made clear when in mid sentence, at 30 or so, he directed another question of similar generality to another.
A younger me would have felt insulted, a bit transparent and grey and quietly blended into the décor. But, I guess, held in defense for such moments in our mental bag of moral supports, are kind words said by some in my past as to humor and intelligence and of being happy to talk with—things I would hope we all have available to us in our memories. These words come from those we ‘fit’ well with and find linkage in life. Those self absorbed and insensitive generally, it seems, have a limit to relationship depth. Rather than feel insulted, I can only feel sorry that they miss chances to connect.
So, I believe that each should remember personally, and try to foster in our children who may have not yet been so exposed, the knowledge that we are all interesting to someone, sometimes. This starts with from genuine interest in their lives springing from the love of a parent. I believe that human kindness dictates that we remember this with all that we have dealings with.
After all, opacity feels so much more vital than transparency and caring promotes a personal ‘blossoming’ that is both a joy to behold and is warm, bonding glue in a relationship.