Being seen can feel uncomfortable, especially if we sense the other has some kind of performance metric in mind.
Do I measure up?
And we stand with the anxiety that only part of us will be seen.
Is that my good side you can see?
Yesterday, my friend Richard Merrick reminded me of the beautiful Zulu word ‘sawubona’:
“I see the whole of you—your experiences, your passions, your pain, your strengths and weaknesses, and your future. You are valuable to me.”
This isn’t simply a polite greeting. It’s a statement of the worth and dignity of each person. And it carries with it the commitment to giving our full attention and presence to them, demonstrating the value they have within them.
Developing this capacity will take time, intention and effort because it’s not typical cultural behaviour here in the west.
But just think what a difference it would make!
Sawubona – I see you.