Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Relationships INSIDE an Elevator
your destination, either quick and deliberately, or impatiently and over and over like a relentless woodpecker. The doors close, you take a deep breath, maybe glance at your watch. If it's mirrored inside, you might check your hair, or adjust an article of clothing a bit. All that changes once the elevator stops, the doors open and another person steps in. A stranger is coming into your private box.
An unannounced and sudden intrusion into your domain. You keep to the side of the buttons, the side of control, holding ownership. They find their spot, opposite of yours in this tiny space. The doors close, and it's just the two of you. What happens now? A quick hello, a nod of acknowledgement? Then either we look up at the ceiling or down at the floor, as if an elevator had architechtural or decorative delights to view. And then eyes go back to the buttons next to the doors to see how much longer we are prisoner. Inevitably the brief conversation, if there is any conversation at all, will usually be about weather. We don't seem to want to invest any time into someone who is leaving us shortly, there isn't time to get to know that person, their little quirks of a personality that we might enjoy, or an exchange of life's experiences that would bond us together. But when that door opens, no matter who gets out first, it's usually with a wish for 'have a good day" or "take care", without even a glance at the others' face. A gesture of human caring, even if fleeting, a positive sprinkling of a few kind words. Next time, try looking into their eyes, before the doors open, before their back is to you as they hurry along their way. Catch them, face to face, eye to eye, take the opportunity to be meaningful, to be totally in the moment. Wish them well, and really mean it. Make them feel the words, see a smile, and watch the lightness in their step before the door closes and they go into the world.