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Sometimes we owe the most to people we know little or almost nothing about.

Case in point: I’ve seen countless times where strangers have met Deb and within minutes, are sharing their most intimate and hidden frailties, insecurities, and problems with her. It must be because they recognize that she is not only willing to genuinely listen to the content, but that she recognizes their need to willingly share that content. Although this will often test every level of patience, afterwards I wonder how much of an impact and improvement she had on that person’s life, even for a short amount of time. That’s a reason why I love and am amazed by her, often more frequently than I let her know.

My friend Dee Dee has that same gift. It’s funny that outside of her family and our baseball lives, I know so little about her and her husband Tom as individuals and I consider the two of them as some of my most treasured and closest friends. Just doesn’t seem to be a lot of time between innings at our sons’ games. This has no doubt been a trying year for me but I really have felt comfortable abandoning my defenses and opening up to them both honestly without hesitation. Thank you!

It’s funny that I have had moments where I’ve shared deep, personal things about myself to compete strangers in an effort to just cleans my mind. Maybe it’s because I’m not protective of the persona I want to maintain within my inner circle or afraid to needlessly worry those who care about me. It’s less a search for answers and more of a chance for catharsis.

Since my accident, I have become more aware of people around me. I consistently share a smile, hello, or a level of humor with people because they may need and appreciate it. I also compliment those who share nice smiles with me because sometimes I need them. I’m not afraid to ask for a name and share mine when talking to someone because they might need a temporary angel at that moment to talk to and at a minimum, it’s polite (kind of hard to remember all the names of people I’ve met at the gym but a nice brain exercise after my injury).

Bottom line is we should reconsider worrying about where we think we need to be, who might be there, what is going on there, and what we might be missing. Maybe better to be aware of where we’re at, who is around us, appreciating what is happening in our presence, and reaching out to someone nearby with a simple smile or hello just in case it might be needed or possibly a bit more to improve there day. Just thinking to myself again.

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