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What’s in a Name?

“Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.” – Henry James

When I was traveling last week, I noticed something different right away as I approached the gate to get on the plane. The gate agent was smiling and as she scanned each ticket, she welcomed each passenger by name. You could see each person’s demeanor change as she recognized each individually. Some days, it’s easy to feel like a number, a transaction. But she gave the gift of undivided attention, choosing relationship over transaction.

When I got in the cab in Austin, I sat silent for a moment and then chose to start a conversation with the driver. It started with the weather and the local economy and then moved to how proud he was of his family, in particular his grandson who calls him G-pop. A simple encounter, a short conversation, a few moments.

We have a choice to check out or check in to these moments, to be more human, more alive. To be called by name and do the same in return. To see and be seen. What’s in a name? So much more than you know.

25 Comments Post a comment
  1. That’s one to live by. 🙂

    December 11, 2012
  2. Love, Love, Love…..Thank you so much for sharing this. A positive and simple choice not only changes the present moment, it can change a life. ♥

    December 11, 2012
  3. Wow that is a very touching story! With busy lives we often forget how taking time to be kind like that can impact others day! Thanks for sharing, I am going to remember to do just that as well!! Merry Christmas!!

    December 12, 2012
  4. I love the quote! Sometimes it’s the little things that connect us and remember our own names. Thank you for a wonderful post

    December 12, 2012
  5. Reblogged this on I AM VanB .. Who are You? and commented:
    Kindness has a name. This post is share worthy and well worth the read!

    December 12, 2012
  6. Reblogged this on stuff i tell my sister and commented:
    This post needs to be shared! Someone once told me it is not how you speak to the rich or to the preacher…..but how you interact with the server, the cab driver or the garbage man that show your true soul. What’s in your heart? ♥♥♥ Prayers for our country ♥♥♥ paula ~

    December 15, 2012
  7. I live by this each day and seeing people light up and open up human to human is worth the effort even on the days I don’t feel it and have to project. We are welcomed with heart and remembered sometimes through many years of absence. I am staggered going through life seeing how many people don’t bother. Many of my smiles fall to the floor never returned.

    December 15, 2012
  8. It takes so little effort to be more human, more alive

    December 15, 2012
  9. Kathie,

    Years ago, I read that quotation from Henry James. I think of it often. So simple, so powerful.

    I’m happy to have found your wondrous blog.


    December 15, 2012
  10. yes, what a difference if people would put away the texting when they are out in public and just be nice to each other, make somebody smile.

    December 15, 2012
  11. Love your post ~ it truly helps when we connect with others, even simply with a smile. To acknowledge, to be kind and to be grateful help as well!

    January 12, 2013
  12. Thank you for appreciating my blog. I appreciate yours and often think about how bringing the light of joy to people is a great thing. It’s the little things that add up, and something so simple as a smile and a greeting to perk up one’s day.

    January 29, 2013
  13. Incidentally, I often walk in the park, which is part wild. Sometimes I will see rocks stacked just as in your picture, and it gives me the impression of how others find the sacred in nature. Another way of casting light.

    January 29, 2013

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