The big brown dog was standing in the parking spot I wanted. He just looked at me with a slight wag of his tail. I rolled the car forward and the dog stepped to one side, but not very far. When I came to a stop, he was looking in the window of my compact car.
I wanted him to go away so I took time to check my funds and locate a coupon. The dog was still there, looking off in the distance. I pushed the door open and he snapped to attention, poking his large head around my door to greet me. I didn’t want to touch the dog because of my allergies so as I stood, I swept my hands back and forth, “Okay, back up.” He looked at me with big, pleading eyes. There was something in those eyes. At that moment, I think I understood what he wanted to say. “Will you show me some love?”
A store clerk came out and the dog ran to her. As I walked around the car, I said, “Oh, I wondered who he belonged to.”
I was in the store for some time, but when I checked out, the cashiers were watching the dog out the window. “He seems to be making a day of it, seeing how many people he can ask: ‘Do you know where I belong?’”
I looked out the store window to see the FedEx driver checking the dog’s tags. A clerk stepped outside again. “He lives up the street,” she explained, waving her arm to the east. The driver nodded, grabbed a package, and carried it into the store.
As I got in my car to leave, I watched the dog waiting for the FedEx driver to return. I felt a strange connection to that dog and I understood why.
The dog found a public place to hang out where he could wait for people to show up. With large pleading eyes, he asked each one: “Will you show me some love? Will you make me feel like I belong?”
That’s how most people feel on social media. Sure, there are some bulldogs who just want to sell you something and there are the social poodles who just want to feed their ego with a large following of adoring fans. But most people hang out in a public place (social media), waiting for someone to show up. With each new contact, people silently ask: “Will you show me some love? Will you make me feel like I belong?”
This holiday season, people you encounter at the mall, the grocery store, or the post office are silently asking you the same thing. They may be lonely, stressed, or mired in despair.
Will you “shoo” them out of the way? Will you be too busy? Will you not want to get dirty with someone else’s problem? Or will you give them your full attention? Will you connect with them with your eyes? Will you offer a sincere word of encouragement?
For each person you encounter, consider what you can do to answer their silent question: “Will you show me some love? Will you make me feel like I belong?”
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