In the book Opening the Door of Your Heart, Buddhist monk Ajahn Brahm tells of questions that should be asked (He notes that this story comes from a Yiddish tradition). The first question is “What is the best time?” The answer to that one is pretty obvious. The best time is now.
The second question is “Who is the most important person?” Now this one probably takes more thought. Who comes to mind? Your child? Your spouse? Your mom? Your dad? The Jolly Librarian?
But the answer is, “The person you are with right now.” The lesson is that the person right in front of you should be the most important person in your life at that moment. Ajahn Brahm writes of his days in college when he would ask his professor a question, and it would be obvious that the person had no interest in him, seeing him only as an obstacle to whatever was next on his to-do list. We’ve all been there.
Of course, we all know we should pay attention to folks and not to make them feel bad. But it’s harder than it seems. I had to step out in the middle of this blog and failed at the task three times in three minutes. Still, it’s a worthy goal.
If we made a habit of treating each person we came across as the most important one in our lives at that moment, I bet we would leave a trail of happy people behind us.