A friend of mine has a simple spiritual practice. Let me share it with you today…
Wherever she goes, my friend asks each person she meets to please tell her their name. For example, she asks the name of the server in the restaurant where she is meeting me for lunch. Then, whenever she interacts with that person, she calls them by name. It’s her way of making the world a kinder, more friendly place.
Most of us like to be called by name, after all. Being called by name is an acknowledgement of our person- hood, our identity. When we call another by name, we acknowledge them as an individual, a person who is important. Thay are set apart. They become important, recognized, seen.
Probably my friend will not change the world with her practice. Our spiritual practice – no matter how important it may seem – does not have the power to change the world. What our spiritual practice does change – who it changes – is us. That’s the real power of our practice, that it slowly, powerfully changes us. We are shaped, in our being, by our practice. What we do, then, we do, ultimately, for ourselves. And its power is in its shaping of us, those who practice, into kinder, gentler, more loving human beings.
And that is something the world, this one world of ours, needs – desperately. We have to trust the outcome of our practice to One who is greater, more wise, more powerful. And so, the very act of our practice invites us to trust.
Our practice, our service, our giving – given from us, given to us.
And so, without speaking her own name, my friend is opening the world- her own little world and the world of others. One name at a time, this is her gift – her practice – to the world, for the world.