Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Gift Of Presence

In grade school I remember attendance being taken at the beginning of class. The teacher would say when I call your name, raise your hand and say present. Little did I know at this early age that throughout life people would be given credit for just showing up.

In life and in business too many people just show up. They are present physically, occupying space and/or time with others, but fail to truly connect in meaningful ways during their interactive moments. This effectively turns these golden bonding opportunities into routine pedestrian transactions.

To do more than merely show up in business and all facets of life and relationships it takes self-awareness. It also takes an authentic desire to have a genuine connection with another. Then, and only then, can one achieve the mindfulness that makes us cognizant of when we are just showing up.

The best thing about the Christmas holiday season is not presents, but the emphasis that society places on being present and spending time with family and friends. Carving out time for those we neglect all year long may be a necessary step, but it's not the biggest one. Being fully present with those we interact with is the larger, more significant task.

Anyone can give presents - not everyone chooses to give their presence. Sure, it takes more energy and effort to ascend the triviality that plagues so many relationships, but too often, triviality defines them. Being sensitive to, and mindful of, the insights our encounters with each other reveals creates compassion that leads to the deeper connections that we really yearn for.

This presence is a gift to be given year round.

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