We have stopped paying attention to the person in front of us. We have replaced genuine conversation with well-rehearsed platitudes. We glorify the busy-ness of doing to avoid genuine interaction of being with one another.
We've forgotten the sound, the touch of a hand, and the power of our voices -- our true connection. Recently at a local restaurant my guy commented how the couples around us never exchanged a word because they were engaged with their phones.
We all want the same thing. We long to be known. We ache to be seen.
We set the pace for the kind of life we want to lead. We run and live on hurried ground, denying ourselves permission to see our world -- this moment, this day -- right now.
If we desire to be known, we must seek to know.
When asked, "How are you doing?" We hear and say: "Super busy" to "crazy busy busy -- you wouldn't believe it."
We aren't answering "fine" anymore.
We say we crave different a relationship to how we do our work, and complain about the technology we've become addicted to. We whisper about living a meaningful life like it's an unattainable fairy tale. We say we want a sense of community, and thirst for a peaceful balanced existence.
Are we willing to risk our doing for being and be that person who pauses to look another in the eye, lend an ear, a hand or a soft heart in a genuine extension of love and kindness?
Omid Safi, director of the Duke University Islamic Studies Center, explains beautifully that in many Muslim cultures, their greeting is:
"Kayf haal-ik?" in Arabic, or "Haal-e shomaa chetoreh?" in Persian languages. How is your haal? But what is this haal? It is the transient state of one's heart. In reality, we ask, "How is your heart doing at this very moment, at this breath?" When I ask, "How are you?" that is really what I want to know. I am not asking how many items are on your to-do list, nor am I asking how many items are in your inbox. I want to know how your heart is doing at this very moment. Tell me. Tell me your heart is joyous, tell me your heart is aching, tell me your heart is sad, and tell me your heart craves a human touch. Examine your own heart, explore your soul, and then tell me something about your heart and your soul."
We talk about living the kind of existence where we take the time to pause, look each other in the eye and have real conversations: Here's how my heart is doing? I will tell you because I am in touch with my own heart and soul enough to know how to express it. And I can see you are listening.
I don't have any magical solutions, except that I see is that we are losing the ability to live a truly "human" life.
Can we commit to genuine human connections by pausing when one of us replies "I'm crazy busy," and respond with, "I know, love. We all are, and I want to know how your heart is doing."
Tell me you remember you are a human practicing "being," not just a human busy "doing." Tell me that you are moved in this life by much more than checking items off your to-do list.
Be that conversation, a smile, a glance, a soft touch-a hand on an arm, a look in the eye, a connect ion with one another for one second.
So tell me something love-something about your heart that could awaken the heart of another. A gesture to save someone's day, a quiet presence that rustles a memory reminding them that they too are a full and complete human being who craves human interaction. Because right now: I'm not phoning, no blogging, no Tweeting or texting. I'm not mentally editing a to-do list in my head or pretending to be busy. I am present. I'm creating an opportunity to say, "I really see you."
And to ask: How's your heart doing right now?