TIME magazine has picked its ‘Person of the Year’ for a long time, so long that sometimes it picks other than a ‘person’. This year is an example in that it picked the Silence Breakers representing all forms of harassment and those who have finally begun to openly fight back.
That, of course, starting me thinking about my various “____________ of the year”. There might be a person, or a happening or a significant personal change or something that happened to jar me out of the humdrum of daily life. That led to me wondering about those in my life and just what they might think was their particularly dominant happening, revelation, meeting, etc. of the year.
What if I picked a daily “best of _______”? What if, at the end of each day, I took a moment or two or three to look back at each of my interactions of that day and tried to choose the one that had the greatest impact for me or that simply seemed to be first in my mind’s eye? It finally dawned on me that choosing the “best of” for any time period greater than a day was futile; that would be akin to taking a sip of water from a fire hose. There are so many ‘transactions’ we each have in the course of a day as to make us almost dizzy trying to reflect on each even if we do that at the end of each day. There might be that stand-out on one day but stand-outs are not often encountered and that depends on how we are feeling about things that day.
How would I go about picking that one person that represented something so unique or powerful or ridiculous or beautiful or ugly or whatever the subject was to be? Frankly, there probably is something/someone every month or week or day that might qualify if I were but aware at that level. That, finally, seems the best solution to my self-induced dilemma.
This exercise finally led to the one thing I could control about all those daily interactions. If I made up my mind to be that “thing”, that interaction that stood out for any and all with whom I had contact that day, I’d solve my problem. It is easier for me to be that someone who brightened a day for another than it is for me to run around all day trying to find that “best of the day” person or thing.
I actually do try to be that person for others but sometimes find I have a little difficulty thinking about anyone but me. About how I feel about this or that or the other. About how I am going to get everything done that I had on my “to do” list for the day. My usual solution is to think about God and Him watching over me and to realize that I can open up to others without any fear if I just listen rather than talk.
Most people are happy to find someone who will listen to them and not just listen so they can talk, but who actually will listen to hear their issues and concerns and what they might need help working through, and all those daily ‘issues’ we tend to let derail us each day.
I have found that doing this daily is my solution. It helps another person who may just find the solution he or she was seeking by talking through that issue with another person. I feel better having had these chats with others knowing that I might’ve helped just by listening versus actively finding a solution for them and their problem. If it is as simple as finding a ride for someone on a certain day, I can help. If it is something about their relationship with another, I can listen, but I cannot solve the problem other than to mention what I think I might do in a similar situation.
Simple interactions with others might be the best thing they experience that day. A smile or helpful hint might be the highlight of their day. Each of us has the power to be the Person of the Day if we are but willing to expose ourselves to those needing a shoulder or a simple assist or even a prayer. We’ll likely never know but that is not important. Simply to have been recognized as a real person might be the very best thing about their day.
So, being the “person of the day” might just be the solution to our problems as well as the problems of others.