Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Presence is important to me. As we become more and more connected on all these various social networking sites and via cell phone, email, etc. it seems that we are everywhere else but right here. I have always been a big fan of people who are able to be present in the moment, keeping with me in place and conversation rather than away in thought or texting land. I feel it’s important to give people the attention they deserve. It’s looking people in the eye. It’s listening. It’s following. It’s interest. I feel like royalty in those moments when someone listens intently, genuinely interested in what I am saying or whatever is happening and all it takes is presence.

It brings me back to a motto our team had in Malawi, “Love the person in front of you”. That’s exactly what presence is. Whoever it is, giving that person your time and attention is an act of love. I think of great leaders I’ve met and spent time with. They were very busy and important people but I wouldn’t have known it from our interactions because they gave me their full attention and their time. It wasn’t a lot of time, but it was valuable because they were present with me.

You never know what difference that might make in someone’s day. For a checker at the grocery store, your presence may brighten their day. For a family member or friend, your presence may reaffirm that you care, that they are worth it. For a homeless person, your presence may bring dignity and respect. For the people in front of you, your presence is infinitely precious.

Be present.


Anonymous said...

Easily I agree but I contemplate the brief should secure more info then it has.

Irvin said...

Love your thoughts and I've really enjoyed reading through your blog as you are a great writer with a lot to say. I was at a party last year where at one point something like 8 out of 12 people had their phones out. I've also had a problem where I've been in large groups and talking to one person but always positioning myself for the next person that I want to talk to. I hate this and I've been working on giving whoever I'm talking to my full attention.

You might get a kick out of my latest blog entry since I talk about Sara:

And another thing, I will probably be going to Malawi this Summer!

Stephanie said...

"love is the person right in front of you." yes.