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attention is kindness

I remember being told when I was a teenager, “You would worry less about what people think of you if you realized how little they did.”

This is not an insult to how important YOU are, it’s just an important reminder that we all have a selfish human nature.  Seth Godin writes about this in his blog today.  That selfish human nature is not inherently bad.  It just is.  It’s the way we are.  On the other hand, it gets me thinking about how useful that is.  With everyone focused on their own interest, it gives you the chance to do these three things.

Helps To Silence “That Voice”

If most people are not paying attention, then you can ignore that voice inside your head that says that “everyone will laugh at you.”  They won’t even notice you.  You have the ability and permission to try new things and fail.  You can stumble.  You can struggle without the worry that everyone will turn down their nose.  If you are willing to put in that work when no one is watching, then they might take notice when you come out on the other side.

Let People Off The Hook (when not listening)

We often get frustrated with other people when they don’t seem to care as much about our project as we do.  It must be important, right?  We love it!   We worked so hard on it.  Understanding that everyone is working on their own life, project and world will give you the grace to forgive them.  They don’t care as much about your project as you do…and that’s ok.  If you work hard and long enough on your project, the people that are truly interested in your passion will show up.

Attention is Kindness

I believe that Kindness can be a Superpower.  And if we understand that most people don’t really notice you at all (unless you are in front of them) then you can be kind in a different way.  Show people attention.  Give them your time.  Smile.  Look them in the eye.  Notice them.  In a world that is starved for kindness, giving people your attention can be an act of kindness in itself.

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