There’s a difference in seeing someone and merely looking. Anyone can look. It can be passive and doesn’t require much effort (or care). But to see someone requires a transaction of sorts. You have to stop doing something else or quit thinking about that other idea in order to really see the person or situation in front of you.
The other morning I was watching my son eat cereal and I just paused enough to feel like I was really taking in the moment. I felt like was really truly seeing him – his features, his youth, and how quickly he’s growing up. I tried to freeze that image in my brain for a moment in hopes that it lasts. Then something happened- he looked up at me and said, “what?” Now we’ve all probably had those moments when we notice someone staring at us and we wonder “what?” But this caught me off guard because I thought how I had seen him enough that he noticed. Then I realized that I want to be a dad, husband, friend and colleague that sees others until they notice. If I could just make the transaction and put aside whatever list of to-dos we’re running through my mind or quit multi-tasking long enough to see them. I’d say the percentage of cases when this will seem worthwhile, especially in the grand scheme of life, is going to be 100%. That’s an unbelievable return – one worth making the transaction or taking the bet.