Open Your Eyes, Truly See Others and Show Up


Dedicated to the kind security guard, I met who taught me how to open my eyes, truly see others and just show up.

While attending an event, I grabbed the agenda booklet and sat down to listen to the speakers. There was no one there I knew so I took a seat. As I pulled my coat off I turned and put the booklet down on the chair to my right and turned to the left to pull my arm out. Then I turned back to grab the booklet and it wasn’t there. I looked on the ground. I looked behind the chair. I looked on my lap. I looked to the lady one seat over with a questioning in my eyes hoping she knew. She just shook her head like I haven’t a clue and turned back to face forward.

I eventually gave up and got back up to obtain another booklet. What would one do without the agenda for the night and description of each speaker? How would we function without the story of how the night would go predestined in front of us? Well, I just couldn’t have that so I fetched another.

Then a conversation was born.

The man to my left leaned over my shoulder and asked when his friend was up to speak. He too had lost his booklet. Throughout the night, he would ask questions and I would look them up for him in the all-powerful booklet. Then I began to tell him of my long lost booklet that once lay on my chair to the right and how maybe just maybe the women who shook her head in understanding of my questioning eyes had forgotten her booklet and the walk to obtain another was just too far so she found an alternate route. But we will never know.

This one moment, this one frustration led to a conversation.

The man to my left was kind, interesting and just happened to also know pretty much everyone in the room. He whispered and pointed out each important person.  30 years as a security guard had taught him a lot. But he didn’t just know them he supported them. He knew a little about each of their stories and he was here to support them all. He didn’t have an ulterior motive at this event to network his way to the top. He didn’t have an agenda item in his booklet he had to follow. He was simply there to listen to their words, dreams and proposals and then be on his way.

What was really interesting to me was he even left before the final award was announced.

He didn’t eat the food prepared for free for all.

He didn’t wait for the award check to be given.

He just showed up.

I would like to believe he had made a promise to himself to be there and support his community or a promise to his friends he had made over the years that he would be there. He supported them rather they won or lost. He was in their sight when they got up in front of the crowd and pitched their idea.

This man inspired me. He knew the stories of many who passed by each day. He shared the stories of their greatness with others. He showed up to support them when he wasn’t even asked. He befriended a lonely soul in the room. He may have been there for a reason beyond my understanding. I may never know but I am truly grateful that he was.

How often do we show up to support others? How often is there a little ulterior motive to be there? How often are we only there out of guilt?

A song I wanted to share this week. Chris Tomlin, I lift my hands.

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