Wiesel, the award winning author, professor and concentration camp survivor, is famous for saying that the opposite of love is not hate, but indifference.
What’s interesting is, anytime we’re on the receiving end of that sentiment, it can be transformed into gifts of deeper understanding and empathy.
Knowing how we feel when we’re treated invisibly and indifferently helps us not to overlook others in the future.
This happens to me in stores all the time. Having worked in retail before, it bothers the hell out of me. Employees barely acknowledge my presence, much less acknowledge my needs. They treat me like I have no feelings at all.
It’s not service with a smile, it’s not service at all.
However, instead of filling out a comment card or leaving a scathing online review, I allow that memory to sear itself onto my brain. And that way, maybe I’ll remember not to make my customers, friends or family feel like that. Like I don’t have time for them. Like they’re not worth being witnessed.
It brings to mind a heartbreaking passage from one of my favorite mystery novels:
When you have cancer, people start treating you like you’re dead long before you die.
And so, let all of us see people as they are, not as our filters would judge them. Let us not become so wrapped up with our own tasks that we treat people either as obstacles or as a means to an end that’s related to our achievement.
Treating people as just people will do fine.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Whom are you making feel invisible?
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That Guy with the Nametag
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