How To Feel More Connected, Centered And Purposeful

May 17, 2010 by  
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I really like this post by Terry Tillman because it talks about stopping long enough to recognize the existence of others. I see you.

I often thought a lot of the violence in Rio de Janeiro (my birth town) came from the fact the middle and upper middle class in fear and/or desperation of not knowing what to do, chose to ignore the poor living on the streets.  I’m talking about not even look at the street people. The result of that group behavior is that the homeless and the poor became non-people.  But people can’t be non-people for too long, so they steal and kill.  I’m here.  Can you see me now?  Of course this is the extreme of ignoring others.  But think about how we would all profit if we actually were present when we came in contact with others?

Terry Tillman

Recovering Businessman, Seminar Leader, Speaker, Author, Coach, Scout

Remember those scenes in Avatar, when the people of Pandora would look each other in the eye and say, “I see you?” Well, these three little words may have a much deeper meaning–they are part of a time-tested tradition and greeting that we can use today to feel more connected, centered and purposeful.

About 20 years ago I was on a safari in Africa (Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda). As we traveled through the villages and Serengeti savanna I noticed a recurring event. When one of the indigenous people would approach another, they would pause, face each other, look directly in each others eyes for five to15 seconds, say something and then continue on their way. This would happen in populated villages and in very remote areas where there may be only one human every 20 square miles.

After a couple weeks of noticing this I asked one of our guides from the Samburu tribe what the natives were doing. He said they were greeting each other. “How are they doing that? What are they saying?” I asked.

“One of them says, ‘I see you.’ Connecting through the eyes, the other replies, ‘I am here.’”

This touched me. I’ve traveled to and worked in 94 countries so far and have seen many different customary greetings–hand shakes, bowing, kissing on cheeks one, two or three times, hugging, touching foreheads … but none quite like this. I have a file I call “Fancy Stuff” for things that tickle my fancy, and that illustrate or demonstrate a truth or useful principle. This goes in that file…Continued

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