The Art of Invisibility
Recently I was made aware of how unnecessary I was. Now before you think this is going to be a rant – it isn’t – or that it is being written in the throes of a pity party – not happening, stop and think for a minute. That hectic weekend or week you just had because you did not say no ….Was your presence really necessary at every event? Did you really need to volunteer to take part in everything?
Most of us want to contribute and sometimes we do so to feel connected. There are even those times when we feel victimized or down trodden and we feel we owe it to ourselves to be present. No one ever has the right to defend their position by belittling your value as a human being but…sometimes we really should just take a moment, stop talking, and breathe.
Sometimes it really is okay to not be the one doing everything. It can make your busy chaotic day suddenly extraordinary because you are enjoying the art of being, not the multitasking of being overwhelmed. We can’t all be slugs and do nothing every day but sometimes it is perfectly acceptable to just breathe and enjoy being a part of the environment.
The art of invisibility has a negative side and it is not when we feel invisible but when we fail to see those whom we often overlook. Quick pop quiz: How many elderly people live on your block? How many were dining at your favorite restaurant last night you dined there?
There are those among us whom we never see and yet they are right there in front of us. Sometimes we are so busy living that we never see the living that is going on right in front of us. It is so easy to simply look beyond the real estate that is directly in front of us.
Most cities have treatment centers for children as well as those suffering from terminal illnesses such as cancer. Instead of spending talking about yourself or even feeling sorry for yourself, why not take a moment to write a little card to someone you’ve never seen. Then drop the card off at the patient check-in desk of that treatment center. You can also do the same and take it to a local nursing home.
Taking a few minutes to write a note to a total stranger shows them that they are not invisible and that their life matters. More importantly, you are sharing goodwill and making their ordinary day something special. This doesn’t just benefit the person who will receive your card. It also helps you. Any time we do something for another we combat the self-centeredness that seems to be epidemic in our society.
Sharing goodness is nothing new. Last week we discussed making one’s commute a better ride. You can also leave a note for the person who will share your seat once you’ve reached your destination. There are probably people in your neighborhood or church, community club, etc. who live away from family. Bookstores, card shops, and markets make finding a card to send very easy. Reach out and let someone know that they are important. Instead of falling prey to your usual hectic schedule, why not take a moment to breathe and then share a smile. Simply sign it “A friend” and be confident in your anonymity. My friend was right. My real need was to not be everywhere but simply with my soul, sharing a smile.