Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I See You

When I saw Avatar I was, of course, entranced by the fabulous technology. What stuck with me the most, however, was how the Na'vi on Pandora greeted each other: "I see you."

I can't find the actual dialogue from the film, but the meaning of this phrase goes beyond the simple act of visual recognition; rather, it communicates, "I see into you, I see and acknowledge and honor who you really are."

In her Skin in the Game blog entry, Mutual Gaze, Sara K. Schneider describes how Buckminster Fuller returned "the 'Hello, how are you's' of others with the stolid reply, 'I see you'... a customary greeting in the central African highlands... the most intense of our mutual gazes imply deep connection, as well as the opportunity for sitting with both the dignity of our separateness and the beauty of our oneness."

Early in my coaching career, when I found myself disliking the behavior or values of a client, I would visualize myself bowing and giving the traditional Indian greeting, Namaste
(acknowledging "the spark of the divine" in another) - as a symbol of my desire to be present to the person, without judgment.

What better way to remind ourselves to be fully present?

Namaste.

I see you.

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