Just a quick one today inspired, I kid you not, by a recent interview with Dwayne Johnson (AKA The Rock).

It’s a great read. Johnson is a larger than life figure in more than just the films he’s starred in after his eyebrow-dancing success in WWE, but what you find here is the personal history of the man behind the tattoos and muscles; a history full of trauma, petty crime, and family dysfunction.

But what really caught my eye was this;

Johnson’s friend Oprah Winfrey detects something distinctive at work here. “Most people have the ‘Do you see me?’ gene,” she says, “but he truly has the ‘I see you’ gene.”

Dwayne Johnson Lets Down His Guard
Vanity Fair October 2021

Let’s face it, Oprah’s right (this is Oprah we’re talking about; of course she is).

Most of us want to be seen, to some larger or lesser degree. Simon Cowell credits his father with the best advice he’s ever received; “Everyone has a sign above their heads saying, “Make me feel important””.

What’s the simplest way to do that? By seeing them. As John Tarrant, Roshi, once said, “Attention is the most basic form of love. Through it we bless and are blessed”.

All of us carry grief in our lives, for reasons both obvious (the loss of a loved one, difficult endings, lost hopes and dreams), but also non-obvious; for example, the lonely sensation that we are not truly “seen” by those in our lives. Or at least, that we have aspects that remain unwitnessed, as we spend our days more role and function than as ourselves.

I wonder, what would it be like to spend a day making the people you encounter feel more seen? As Syd Banks said, “Humility isn’t about thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less”; a great way to feel less self-conscious.

Kindness is contagious and makes us feel better, too, potentially reducing anxiety, stress, and depression – especially important after the last 18 months we’ve all experienced.

So, can you cultivate your “I see you” gene today?

Can you be more Dwayne Johnson?


Photo by Pexels

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