Every morning the janitor comes around and empties each trash bin by our little stations at work. It’s the same routine for everyone:
Janitor: “‘Mornin, (employee’s name)”
Employee: “Good morning”
J: “How’s it goin’?”
E: “Good. You?”
J: “I’m doing alright.”
This exchange in the office happens at least eight times a morning, five times a week. The same words, same inflection, same actions each and every day, all year long. It gets a little tedious and one really starts to question everyone’s sanity. I can’t help but wonder when someone is going to blow up: “HOW’S IT GOING?! I’LL TELL YOU HOW IT’S GOING!”
Every now and then when watching t.v. I’ll stumble onto The Wheel of Fortune. I love the introductions because they’re so formulaic, but still interesting because you don’t know how the blanks are going to be filled in:
Pat Sajak: “Aye Aye Captain is the answer. Good job. Frank Goodson, is it? Frank’s here from Sacramento, California. It says here you’re a data analyst.”
Frank: “Yeah, I work at a small firm that helps companies to compile and sort out all the information they receive from their clients.”
P: “Neat! And you’re marrtied?”
F: “Yes, twelve years to my beautiful wife Nancy. We have three wonderful children – Harry, Ronnie, and Jessica.”
P: “Sounds like a wonderful family. Why don’t we go for another puzzle?”
All the contestants have great background stories; nicely polished and wholesome, with loving families anxiously waiting in the audience for their victory. But there have to have been times when a contestant didn’t have family to bring so they’re there all alone, or one of them is going through a bitter divorce and has no positive adjectives to describe their spouse.
I bring this up because we all have things we really want to say and talk about – just below the surface we have all this stuff that’s slowly killing us that we need to pour out to someone. Life stuff that we hope someone will ask us about. Ask those questions! Dig deep about relationships, about living situations, about kids. Question the person about their faith, about their health, about their emotions. More than likely the other person really wants to express all this (and more) to you, but they’re afraid. Prod them along and help them get out what they really want to say. Don’t skip along the surface – dive, dive, dive!
.much love. sheth.