AND When You See, Share the Gift

January 15th, 2017

In support of making 2017 a year to find ways to transform darkness into light and shine light wherever we find ourselves, I was particular struck by something that happened at The Golden Globes last week. If you missed the show, there is a wonderful thirteen minute piece on YouTube documenting what I write about below.

Meryl Streep was selected to receive a Life Achievement Award for her brilliance as an actress over the course of her career to date. AND the person who presented her to those in attendance was the actress, Viola Davis. Davis told a story of working with Streep on a film, of admiring her while being simultaneously intimidated by her talent, and of wanting to say something to Streep at the time and of not doing so. AND she chose to use the Golden Globes’ moment to share the Meryl Streep that she had seen then and sees today.

What I particularly loved was the look on Davis’ face as Streep accepted her award. The admiration, pride, and sense of respect were palpable. Prior to Streep coming to the stage to accept her award, Davis proceeded to tell the audience who she sees in Meryl Streep.

She described Streep as a thief. While the term might have been shocking to the audience, the camera flashed to Streep’s face as she beamed and nodded. Davis went on to illustrate how Streep monitors, and steals all of the details of those she studies in order to be able to portray them from the inside out, with integrity. The beauty, insight, and mutual respect of the moment permeated the room.

One actress who truly sees another chose to convey exactly who she sees. AND the one who was being seen, because the moment and description were shared, knew she was being recognized and celebrated for what she celebrates in herself. What a gift. I find myself wondering how we can make these kinds of moments more common, more shared, and more celebrated in our homes, neighborhoods, and workplaces.

Imagine what would change in the world if, when we see who someone really is and what that person is dedicated to in life, we stop whatever we are doing and share the gift of truly seeing that person with her or him. Such seeing and sharing could provide the perfect antidote to situations where celebration and civility give way to fear, competition, and insecurity, resulting in bullying to make oneself look better.

What if each of us paused at least once in the next week to truly see another person, and then share our admiration and appreciation with her or him. The shared gift can lift both people and spur more respect and generosity in our world. And that would bring more light.

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