I was out on a walk when I saw her. She was standing on the grass beside the sidewalk, holding a leash. Not that the woman was paying any attention to her dog. Her gaze looked distant. She was lost in thought.
The dog was the first to notice me as I approached. He looked up from his investigation of the grass and wagged his tail.
Bending down to pat the dog’s head, I said to the woman, “He’s a cute little guy.”
Her face lit up with pride. And for the next five minutes she told me all about her dog. She told me how she’d had him since he was a little pup. She told me how much she loved the him.
She told how gentle the dog was – and how wonderful he was around children.
When we parted ways, both of us were smiling.
The train was late. And as people tend to do in such situations, the man next to me and I commiserated over the delay. In the process, he mentioned being on the way home from work.
So I asked him what he did.
He shared how he worked at a plant that developed equipment for the electrical grid – power lines, transformers, fuses, and switches. It sounded interesting, so I asked a question.
He told me more.
As we talked, I could tell he was proud of the work he did. He felt it was important. And he was eager to tell me about it.
People long to matter. When you take a moment to notice them and ask about something they care about, you make them significant. You affirm them as a person.
And in that affirmation, you create the opportunity for a conversation – a chance to go deeper. You spark a human connection.
On my way home one afternoon, a man sat down next to me on the bus. He commented on my folder, which had the logo of the company I used to work at. He made me feel important. And I was more than happy to talk.