Cavett Robert, founder of the National Speakers Association, told a story about watching a young boy going door-to-door selling books. As the boy headed for his house he said to his wife, “Watch me teach this kid a lesson about selling. After all these years of writing books about communication, lecturing all over the country, I might as well share some of my wisdom with him. I don’t want to hurt his feelings, but I’ll get rid of him before he knows what’s happened.”
Mrs. Robert watched as the boy knocked on the door. Mr. Robert opened the door and explained that he was a very busy man and he had no interest in buying any books. But he said, “I’ll give you one minute. Then I have to leave to catch a plane.”
Undaunted, the young boy looked up at the tall, gray-haired, distinguished looking man and said, “Sir, could you be the famous Cavett Robert?” Mr. Robert replied, “Come on in son.”
The lesson is pretty straight forward. Most of us want to feel important and are attracted to people who make us feel so. Would you agree?
I have a sister who is a master at this. She greets you with exuberance and enthusiasm. She makes you feel like you matter. She is interested in you and affirms you with interest as well as kind and warm words. I know I come away from our interactions feeling loved and valued, uplifted by having been with her.
I also have a friend who is a master at helping people feel good about themselves. You can ask how he’s doing and he’ll inevitably say something like, “Better now that I’ve seen you.” If someone is in the hospital he is the first one there. Not only does he show up but is likely to bring a Big Mac and milk shake. He is quick to put an arm around a teenager or engage someone in simple conversation about something important to them. He recognizes and comments on people strengths, so often in the presence of others. He affirms and validates in so many ways.
I am grateful to these two people. They are like sunshine in my life. They each give me something that money cannot buy, in fact something far more important than money—they help me feel loved and important.
Is this not something all of us want? Deep inside we want to know that people notice us, that we are important and worthy of recognition and love.
How would it be if we consciously made the decision to give this gift to one another? What would it take to greet people in a way that affirmed a need, even craving, so deep within their hearts? Maybe a little awareness. A desire to shift your own energy. Perhaps a willingness to let go of your seriousness and become a source/cause of love in this life. Notice how easy it is to do this with a pet or a young child. How about if we do it with each other?
Love is contagious. Love is expansive. And it comes back to bless our lives.