A couple of weeks ago Special Olympics New Mexico met in Las Cruces for our 2010 Holiday Classic – a combination of our State Basketball Competition and South Regional Bowling Competition. I spent most of the morning watching basketball. During the course of a really close game, one of our athletes nailed a three-point shot, and I was immediately on my feet yelling with a lot of enthusiasm! A dear friend sitting next to me who knew this young man kindly shared that what I just yelled wasn’t enough! As I looked at her with question marks in my eyes, she explained to me that she had cheered for this athlete during another game, and that after the game was over, he told her the next time she cheered for him, she needed to call out his name.
I’ve thought about that off and on, and I have decided to make that athlete’s directive my theme for the Holidays – “Personal Attention. ”
If we make it a point to notice, we are all surrounded by people every single day who have needs that are never shared – loneliness that is deeply hidden – and broken hearts because of life circumstances that simply happen. I believe that every single one of us can make a difference if we make the decision to intentionally give other people our attention. Personal attention has the power to really help and it lives on in our hearts a long time after it’s given. A conversation, an act of kindness, a card – just something that says to someone out there “I see you -I am cheering for you – I know your name.”
The Holidays are a busy time, and it’s easy to get caught up in the “hurry-hurry” and miss the true meaning of why and what we celebrate. Let someone know that they matter. Give them the gift of your attention. It will be a blessing.