What Do You See on People's Foreheads?

Today I learned that a man I really, really liked  "got his wings" on September 22, 2013.  His name was Rev. John E. Naus, S.J., a Jesuit priest who served the Marquette University community for nearly  50 years.  He was 89 years old.

What I loved about him--and mind you this was a man I never met in person, only by my cards were we connected-- was his humble and simple joy. That sounds corny, but often real things are corny.  Loyalty.  Kindness.  Hopefulness.  Just ordinary traits that no one should ever take for granted and indeed, seem occasionally to be in far too short supply.  Each year he sent out Christmas in July cards along with a letter full of memories and highlights from the past year. He also included little bitty cards with great sayings on them.  I used to share them at work.  My favorite, and one that is still on the telephone here at Lifesighs, says,  "Find out what you love to do, and you'll never have to work another day in your life. "

In today's letter to Fr. Naus's far away friends like me, was the  following:

"We each have our own special memories of Father Naus.  One recurring theme that's been shared the past few days has been his suggestion to imagine everyone with "Make me feel important" written on their foreheads.  Father Naus certainly made each of us feel that way."

Ever since I read that this morning, I can't help but wonder what would happen if I followed Fr. Naus's suggestion and imagined seeing  "Make me feel important " on every person's forehead? 

What kind of a world would it be if we all did?

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Tags: Chris Shea, Christmas, Fr. Naus, July, La Mesa, La Mesa Today, La Mesa news, La Mesa newspaper, Make me feel important, Rev. John E. Naus, S.J., More…What do you See on People's foreheads

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Comment by chris shea on October 14, 2013 at 8:57am
When I am fortunate enough to have something I write published on La Mesa Today,
I use the option of being able either to approve or not any comments.
I have never not allowed a comment to be published.
One comment I received this morning is the first one that has given me pause, not for how the comment reflects on me, but for how I think the comment reflects on the person who sent it.
Only because I think the writer thinks his words are often censored, I am going to approve the comment he made.
I think the thought he has expressed is just sad, but on his forehead I still see
"Make me feel important."
Comment by Batman on October 14, 2013 at 8:40am

What do I see on people's foreheads? Mostly "sucker" and "666".

Comment by chris shea on October 11, 2013 at 11:55am

Thank you David and Michael for your thoughtful comments.  It means a lot to me!

Comment by David Stanley on October 11, 2013 at 3:59am

Each of Chris Shea's pieces seems to strike home, ring a bell inside, strike a chord. This one certainly does it again. Years ago I was attending a very large business meeting. Being part of "Production",  my role was on stage which afforded me perhaps the best view of this, "Make me feel important" concept. At the beginning of one session, as people filed into the huge auditorium, each was handed a small white candle. Only "Production" knew was happening. After about a half hour, the speaker approached the microphone and spoke, saying much the same thing Chris has described: each person's importance, each person's role. It was very quiet. All the house lights were extinguished and it was pitch black. After a couple of minutes the speaker lit a candle he was holding. Saying nothing, he walked down from the stage and lit one other candle and told that person to share the flame. There in the total darkness were two small lights. From person to person, the flame moved out through the audience. After a very long time the entire auditorium was afire with the flames from the candle illustrating the importance of just one person sharing the importance, making the other important.

Whilst sharing one another's lives, each of us is truly alone. Each craves, in some form, certification that they are truly important to someone. Each moves in different ways seeking this recognition and acceptance. She is correct saying, "Often, real things are corny" and these "things" are often dismissed. But, it is most often the small, "corny" things that are, in truth, the most endearing, the most important, those "things" that tell another: "I see you and you are important to me"  Thank you Chris for sharing this message and this lesson.

Comment by Michael Cargill on October 10, 2013 at 11:40pm

Such a heartwarming story. If only everyone could be so considerate of others.

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