Karma and Four Square

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I spend Sunday afternoon and night with family.  We lunch at my in-laws and dinner at Mom and Dad’s.  It’s at my parents’ house that I get to watch and interact with nephews and neices that are always energized.  I’ve watched them grow up together and always have each other to spend time with on Sunday nights.  They will always and forever remember those weekly family reunions.

This Sunday was a little quieter with only one of my four siblings present (although we had two familes of children running around).  It was no less energetic, but was a touch quieter.  As the adults continued to eat dinner though, I watched my 13 year old interact with my youngest nephew (who loves me the most…).  My son was the perfect goofy complement to his little cousin, Cooper.  They were laughing and sharing, and it was nice watching my son interacting in that compassionate way that I love so much.

Then they moved on to the next activity and the moment was gone, replaced with board games and loud play.  Until after the adults were done being boring and talking and we all went out and played four square.

That’s when the extra time that Mack had spent with his cousin offhandedly was rewarded.  Full disclosure, we play a modified version of foursquare especially for the young ones who can catch the ball and throw it into another square.  Everytime Cooper caught the ball he made a grand show of which square he was going to throw it into.  And every time, he would yell, “MACK!” and throw it to his older cousin who had given him a little bit of interest…

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Although this is a fresh example of this, it’s something I’ve seen often, especially when I was teaching High school.  People desire interaction.  People desire attention, and want you to simply show interest in them.  When you do, it changes the way they interact with you.  Sometimes, it impacts their whole day.

It’s not just the large interactions either.  Mack spent very little effort while playing with Cooper.  I’ve enjoyed noticing things about people’s clothes that make them stand out.  “Wow, I really like your shoes…” in passing, can make that person feel like they are special, make them feel like they are standing out in a sea of people.  Take that concept and bring it to interactions with people you work with, people you care about or support.  That’s when you’ll see people sticking up for you when things don’t necessarily go your way.  I make a point of protecting people who are positive towards me and show interest in my family, my life…  Others will do the same for you if you express interest in theirs…

And the best part of it all…  Once you start doing that on a surface level, you actually start to find that all people are interesting on a deeper level.  Empathy grows only when you learn what others are dealing with.  You’ll never know that unless you express interest.  So even if you start out selfishly, to get people to express more interest in you…  You might find that you grow more selfless as you start learning about the lives of others…

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