Face to Face, Eye to Eye, Heart to Heart

Welcome to the Mark Hunter Show! On my show this morning, I have Paul who is openly going to share his life’s story with us. He’s 40ish, single and been married three times -to his ipod, plasma screen and his car. In fact Paul believes he’s just another male who cannot commit! Welcome Paul!

Mr Chairman, ladies and gentleman, There are any number of reality television shows on which we can share our lives. Supportive shows like Oprah, Dr Phil, Kerrie Anne, and if you are brave enough, Jerry Springer.

But if you want to share your life and make a difference, stick to real reality. Two writers living 100 years apart give us separately the reason to do this, and what to do. Stephen Covey says the essence of human fulfillment is to leave a legacy. The poet Lord Tennyson tells us what legacy to leave. Ourselves in the hearts of others, so we can be “a part of all whom we meet”.

Wow! What an amazing legacy to leave ..our life woven into the life of another… we cannot do this on a 60 minute reality TV show with ads! It has to be face to face, eye to eye, heart to heart. I first learnt the value of this for myself about 8 years ago, in, of all places, a dentist’s waiting room.

When you enter such a room, you look for a seat, I look for a parking space. Once parked, I noticed a mother and her 6-year-old son sitting across the room. As I watched, the mother’s eyes lifted from her magazine and I sensed a degree of discomfort as they landed on my set of wheels. She looked at everyone else, checked on her son and finally sought sanctuary in the well-fingered pages of her magazine.

Her eyes never met mine. My heart wanted to say, “See me the person– not this the thing.”

I still experience adults who are unable to look me in the eye, and it frustrates me. With children, it is different. They just see it and speak it as it is, as did the boy in that room. He smiled at me so I smiled back.

Then secretly, I winked; and with the same sense of mischief and concealment, he winked back. Then I did what any normal mature 55-year-old adult would do. He laughed just like you.

His mother raised her head and looked in the direction of her son’s gaze. Once again, her eyes could not make it past my wheels.

Again, my heart cried out, ‘See me the person, not this the thing’, but her eyes never met mine. So I turned to the boy.

He gave me another smile, only this time, I could see on his face what appeared to be the birth of a most important question. Lacking all the inhibitions of an adult, as he shattered the silence in the waiting room with, “Hey mister do you sleep in that thing?”

His mother’s hand slipped quickly from the edge of the magazine, and Whack! She smacked her son’s bare leg. Her eyes darted towards me, and this time I took them…and for a moment we were face to face, eye to eye. I transferred from my chair to the now empty seat next to me, I turned to the boy and said, “Do you want to have a go?”

He looked to his mother with faith and expectation, until she nodded nervously. Well he raced across the room, settled himself into my chair, and within seconds, he pretended to snore loudly. It was priceless.

His mother finally gave me her tear filled eyes, and a look I will never forget. A look which said without as much as a word being uttered, “My mind is at ease now, I can see, I can see what my son sees – I can see you”

In that room she met me, took the piece of me I offered, and made it a part of herself…. And we were heart to heart. And as for the boy ..Well he now knows how difficult it is to sleep in a wheelchair.

Ladies and gentlemen, any time is a good time to share ourselves face to face, eye to eye heart to heart. When we do this, our life is woven into the life of another and we leave the legacy Tennyson and Covey urged us to leave. I felt the value of doing this in that waiting room. I invite you to experience that same fulfillment when you next leave your legacy. Face to face, eye to eye, heart to heart.