We’ve all seen what happens in the face of anonymity…people strive to be known and sometimes will take that need to far. I think about the television show “Cheers” and the theme song pretty much says it loud and clear “a place to go where everybody knows your name”. Isn’t it great when we go somewhere and we’re recognized. It’s one of the key success points for Starbucks. Having been a barista I can tell you that the baristas strive to not only know your name, but your drink and most of the time what’s going on in your life. When the patron doesn’t show up for a while upon their return everyone in the store wants to know where they’ve been.
Could it really be that simple? I work at home and go to the grocery store often so I’m familiar with many of the employees. I probably know “Tony the produce guy” the best. I’m a fanatic about education and he’s finishing his undergraduate degree. I always ask how his studies are going especially around midterms and finals. I know the day will come when he’ll graduate and pursue other endeavors, but getting a big “Hi!” from him makes me feel seen. It’s why we have places we frequent because as American Express says “membership has its privilege”.
I hope as pilgrims you will take the time to create meaningful interactions with others because they will last. Giving someone your time and attention for some is like winning the lottery. We never really know what’s going on for another until we stop and take the time to ask…so stop and ask.