Whenever I go to Reno for business, I always make a point of having breakfast at Peg’s Glorified Ham n Eggs. The food is excellent, and if you are a bacon lover like me (sorry, J 🙂 ), it is paradise. What astounds me, however, is not the enormous amount of food that I can never finish. It is the proprietor, Katie.
Katie knows her customers. Not just their name, or even their order. She knows them. She remembers the last time they were there, remembers everything about every conversation she had with them, knows kids names, birthdays, and the list goes on. Every person that walks through the door, she calls them by name, even business travelers like me who may show up once a month. When I stopped in this week, she was about to pour me coffee, and I couldn’t even get out the “no” fast enough. “That’s right, you don’t drink coffee. Small orange juice, right?” I smiled and nodded, as she asked one of the other servers to get my orange juice. She then turned to the next person that walked in, greeted them by name with a smile, and went about her business. Before I left, she came to me stating that she recalled one of the last times I drove there, that the weather was bad, and she was concerned that I made it over the pass safely. This was 4 months ago… again, she astounded me.
Katie reminds me of another person I admire, Keith Seckel. Keith is now pastoring in Oregon, but used to be one of the pastors on staff at my church. Similar to Katie, Keith had (and still has) an uncanny ability to remember everything about a person. This is a good trait for a pastor, and unfortunately, one that I struggle with. I have to work hard at the details of people’s lives that I may have seen 5 minutes ago, but Keith can rattle off occasions in grave detail where he has interacted with others. For Keith, it’s not about the facts either. When Keith has an experience with someone, it becomes an intimate part of him. Keith does not only know people, but he knows them. Deeply, passionately, the way relationships should be.
Back in the 80’s, there was a show that flew in the face of the “I’m the only one that matters” generation. That show was called “Cheers”. The tagline for the show was “where everybody knows your name”. We all want a place like that. Relationships like that. Simply existing in the world is no life at all. Deep in our hearts, there is a constant quest, for someone to know us. Not just facts about us, but to really know us.
There’s another place I frequent, called Q-Cup (Yes, I love food…). Even though I am a creature of habit, I find it both comforting and amusing that whenever I walk in, whoever is working immediately starts making my order: Rose Milk Tea with Pearls. The place can be packed with people, but they know me. They take the time to talk to me about my day or whatever. Maybe they are just trying to keep customers, but to me, it feels like I belong there.
Being known, belonging, are so core to who we are, and who we are supposed to be. Social networking businesses get this, and create avenues for people to “be known”, and we eat it up by the millions. How many of us participate in multiple social media sites, and get a smile when someone else wants to “know” us? (well, maybe sometimes we have a look of fear cuz the person looks like a stalker, but you know what I mean 🙂 ).
One of my new friends (I so love that), SuuperG Gina put a quote from Lao Tzu on Twitter: “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage”. When we think about how wonderful it is to be known, consider how great it could be to be the one knowing another… Maybe not as many as Keith and Katie do, but even if we can “love one more person deeply”, really know one more person, we can affect their life in a positive way. Is there someone in your life that you kinda know, but could know more? There are some on my list, and I think it is time to get some courage, and start to know them. Kinda scary, sure, but maybe the fear we have of really knowing people is eliminated by the risk of loving them deeply.
So, it’s time to take Cheers on the road, and know more people – really know them. I invite you to do the same, and astound someone with how deeply you know, and love them.
For more fun love stuph, check out J’s Love Project. It’s all kinds of wonderful and astounding