feeling safe in America

How to make another person feel “noticed”. So simple.

If we were having coffee, what would I want us to talk about?

Good question, huh. I’ve been catching up on some WordPress “helps” and this was a suggestion as a possible blog. I don’t often use prompts, but I like this one so I thought I would give it a try.

I find it easy to begin conversations with pretty much anyone. I find people and their stories fascinating and I can honestly say, it’s probably the only area in my life where I am totally confident. I find that strange considering my history of depression and anxiety. Anyway, what would we talk about?

If we were having coffee, I’d probably like to know where you were born and if it’s different from where you are now, what prompted you to move.

I’d like to know about your siblings, how many, and where you are in the birth order.

Then, I would probably ask about your interests and hobbies.

I might ask what you do for a living.

After that, the conversation would probably go in many different directions depending on how we’re “clicking”.

One thing is for sure. You would feel “noticed”.

The point is to show genuine interest in another person. I find that most people respond well to someone they feel is “safe”, someone who is transparent. I think a lot of people are afraid to initiate a conversation with a stranger for fear of rejection.

As I watched the meeting yesterday between president Trump and victims of school shootings, I was impressed with some of the strategies various school systems in the United States have in place.

One school was in Washington, DC, in a much-troubled school system. While they have metal detectors in place, they also have a designated person who greets each student as they enter the school. Their purpose is to ascertain the moods of students to detect any that are having a rough day and might be prone to acting out that mood in some destructive way. They are immediately given some counsel and if the school authorities should so decide, they are sent home.

Apparently, it really works.

But I think what it boils down to is that students are making “connections” with someone. There is a real conversation going on. And, as I posted last week, I believe many our problems with gun violence directly relate to how a person perceives his or her world.

When we feel safe loved, when we feel a “connection”, we are much less apt to hurt ourselves and others. I mean, who doesn’t know that?

And even though I know it’s not the only answer to gun violence in our schools, I believe it’s a logical (and might I add non-threatening and doesn’t cost a time, non-partisan) place to start.

As you walk through your day, pay attention to that “odd” person, to that one to whom you would ordinarily walk past. Give them a smile. I really do believe a smile can change a person’s day. The Bible says the same thing in so many different passages, many of them in the Proverbs.

I think if we realized what a difference a single smile can make, we’d all do more of it.

God bless and have a good day.