A Face in the Crowd

I may have falsely accused the nice looking Braggs folks of waking me up early.

Maybe.

Around the time that I started the apple cider vinegar regiment, I also started a series of presentations at work. “Series” may not be the right term. It’s roughly the same presentation given to several different groups. Maybe that’s more accurately called “making the circuit”. Whatever it’s called, it affects my body in odd ways.

I forget to eat. I have to wear a necktie, which I really don’t like. I somehow rehearse the script in my sleep to the point that the words seem unscripted, and then I wake up about 3AM and fearfully search for my phone to check the time, afraid that I’ve somehow overslept the 10AM presentation. As if sleeping through the kids getting up, eating breakfast, lollygagging in to their wardrobe and out the door for the bus would be remotely possible.

I’ve given the presentation to big groups and to small groups. To people who understood what I was talking about and to people more interested in what the person sitting next to them was talking about.

In attendance at two of the presentations was a guy that I’ve worked with on a couple of project teams in the past. We’re cordial and friendly, but not really friends. We don’t go to lunch or exchange office gossip. He doesn’t know that I’m writing this, or that this site even exists, but during those presentations he acted like my biggest fan.

He nodded when I made a point, and when I stumbled through portions of the presentation he nodded even faster. Had we been in a Baptist church, he may have raised his hand and shouted “help him Jesus!” during parts of the presentation. (They may do that in other churches too but, for any non-Baptist reading this, you don’t really want to hear “help him Jesus” if you’re the one singing.) He smiled and he took notes, or maybe he made a grocery list – I really couldn’t tell – but he gave me 100% of his listening talent. He really helped the presentations, and the presenter, more than he knows, and he did it at both presentations, which means he did it on purpose.

I’ve got to wrap this up this morning, but how easy was it for him to be my support mechanism in those presentations? It didn’t cost him a dime. It really just took him actively being there. Ignoring his buzzing phone or the notifications on his iPad and just paying attention to someone else in the same room. I struggle with that. You do too, maybe. If we want to get better at making others feel important, we’re going to have to get better on purpose.

Go be kind, on purpose.