Just Checking In

25 02 2007

When you walk past someone you know on the path, you tend to have the following conversation.

A: Hi!

B:Hi. How are you?

A: Good, you?

B: Good. 

A: Good, have a good day!

B: You too!

The second half of this conversation is generally yelled over your shoulder, or straight ahead, without even bothering to look back.  Also, it tends not to matter how the people actually are, the script stays the same.  That’s because the point of this conversationisn’t to find out how the person is, but to reaffirm the relationship of the two people having it.  It’s irrelevant that person A woke up this morning with the flu, and just barely dragged himself out of bed, and that person B is having a fight with her parents,  they say the same words.  The semantics aren’t actually saying anything about how the two people are, they’re saying that they are still friends with each other.  That at some point in the future, when they have more time, they do care about how the other person is.  It’s the constant use of these tiny little conversations, that on their own don’t communicate any information, that allows us to have the bigger ones.  We can talk to people when we need to, because we are constantly reminded that these people do care by the little everyday “meaningless” interactions we have on the path. 

It occur to me the other day, that there’s probably the same benefit to davening every day.  If you’re not used to having the everyday “meaningless” conversations with G-d, then when you need to have the bigger conversations, you don’t know how.  You don’t have the relationship established, or the words to use.  It doesn’t matter that you’re only doing it because you have to, that you’re rushing through it just to get to go eat breakfast, or to any one of the million other things that you have to do that day.  Even if your mind isn’t on the words, even if you have no focus or kavanah at all, you’re establishing a connection.  You’re making a statement that you still care, that you’re there.  Once you have the habit of these tiny little connections, the big ones don’t seem as overwhelming. 

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2 responses

26 02 2007
Lilian

I loved this post! Again, you have made me see something from a new point of view, thank you.

26 02 2007
Emily

Lilian- Thanks! It’s good to know that people find what I write interesting. 🙂

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