I SEE YOU…DO YOU?
One day I was seated in the school library studying as usual. During one of the tired-mind sections, I decided to indulge my eyes with the outside scenery. I saw the vibrant campus students’ dance, talk, walk and just entertain each other with various activities. Far in the field I could see the basketball team playing a good natured game. All this was familiar to me and I could recognize each and every one of them. I knew most faces although I did not know their names. If I met them outside the school vicinity I would recognize them as members of my school.
Along the pavement pathway that led to the school’s common area, I also saw a school worker in their usual green outfit. He was quietly trimming the hedge. My eyes stopped at him and I looked as all the students walk past him. To most including myself he was invisible. If i could have met him 10 minutes later in probably normal clothes and he said hello to me, I would be like “do we know each other? Have we ever met before?” not recognizing he was the same person who ensures our campus grounds are well maintained every day. I was surprised in that moment to realize how such people are invisible to the rest of the world or is it just me?
Each morning as I arrive at work, I usually greet the security guards at the main door as I walk quickly to the elevator. Most times I don’t look at them in the face just a smile as I walk past them. One day I went to the kitchen of the third floor, where our office is to take a snack as I unwind for a few minutes. I met a man in the kitchen and as usual said hello. I leaned on the counter to take my snack when the man proceeded to make conversation with me.
“You are the new lawyer at Mr.Wauna’s law firm right?” I was surprised and asked him “Yes I am. Do I know you?” He laughed as if this kind of question was usual to him. “Yes. I am the security guard at this floor and sometimes alternate at the main door” he said “But usually people don’t seem to recognize us especially when we are out of our uniform”. I was mortified and couldn’t believe I could not even recognize his face. I had never really stopped to get to know him or any of them. I apologized. He was one of those easy good hearted people and said it was no big deal. He went on to chat me up as he told me about his life and the fact people think they are invisible and will say all manner of things as if they not present. This fascinated him, he said as he proceeded to exclaim “I see you, I hear you clearly but you don’t”.
As I walked back to the office I could not help but think of all the invisible people I interact with in a day, the homeless guy down the street, the waiter, the taxi driver, the security guard, the tea girl and o much more. At a restaurant I may well, say hello before making the order but apart from that the waiter remains to be just the one serving me. If I met them outside I would have no idea if I ever met them before. It is not like I treat them badly or rudely just that I never take time to acknowledge them or their presence in those few moments of our interaction, as I do the people I find relevant such as my family.
Do we ever take even a minute in our lives to say a word or speak to the invisible people in our lives? It would seem that we live in a world where everyone is too busy to stop and have a short meaningful conversation with another human along their way. We would be surprised that they may have a word that may make our day or bless us or we may bless them in return. How about the next time we meet such people we ask them how truly they are. The world could do with a little more warmth as opposed to the dominant cold atmosphere in today’s society.
How randomly awesome would it be to go buy two meals for yourself and the beggar down the street and sit down to share it with them over a conversation? If we don’t show the world random acts of love and care, how will they ever know God loves them?
To the wonderful security guard at View Park Towers and all the invisible people in our society, I see you.