Honoring Others With Your Presence


The phone started vibrating on the table. I was at a business lunch and the woman across from me acted as if she didn't hear the rattling, so I asked,

"Do you need to get that?"

"No," she said, "I'm in the middle of a conversation with you, so I don't need to answer my phone."

I didn't know what to say, but my face was puzzled enough that she continued to explain.

"I carry my phone for MY convenience to communicate when I need to, not for everyone else to intrude whenever they want."


Not only was I impressed by this woman's discipline and boundaries, I felt honored that I was receiving her full attention.

I don't know if you feel this way, but these days receiving someone's full, undivided attention feels special and unique. I felt honored. I also felt convicted about how frequently I respond to the chirping from my electronics.

What does it take for you to ignore the ringing phone and the buzzing texts? Are you thinking about the message you're sending to the person you're WITH when you prioritize the digital signals over flesh and blood?

I know unplugging is a challenge. Maybe it's easier when we think about what the value of our focus means to people sitting across from us.

What do you think?