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Archive for January 28th, 2015

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As I entered the class, I spied a young man who I knew I had to greet, by name. When I did, his entire face smiled, his mouth, his cheeks, his eyes. Every time I enter that class, or pass this student in the halls of the high school where I work, I make a point of greeting him, by name.

You see, I am horrible at remembering names. The first time I attempted greeting his young man, by name, I called him a similar, but wrong name. I apologized, and he said it was okay … but the look on his face was as if I had stabbed him in the gut.

That look on his face has forced me to greet him, by his (right) name, every time that I see him.

I needed to not fail this young man again … so I wrote his name on the palm of my hand. I knew where to look for a reminder, and no one was ever the wiser.

Each consecutive time I smile and greet him by name, his smile gets bigger, and bigger. Although in a few months my cheery greetingĀ  may begin to annoy his teenage self, I know that when he hears me say his name, he knows that I have made the effort to know his name.

His name, on my lips, has become an expression of effort, and of interest in him.

Ever noted that name of a waiter, a cashier, or other service person? Ever received your receipt then smiled and wished that person a good day? by name? Most often my minuscule amount of effort is received in surprise, joyful, delighted. You can almost feel their joy as you walk away.

Our name is important. Our name is the only thing that, without tools or devices, can declare our identity.

Ever felt that your name, that you, were not valued? Ever felt that your identity was forgotten?

There is one who knows your name.

It is even written on the palm of His hand.

 

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