A Special Blessing for the Nameless

Mentors - Bennie Harris

"Just as there has been a continued growth of knowledge and wisdom on the part of the human race, there is inherent within each individual the possibility of progression."
~Ernest Holmes, A New Design for Living

During Sunday morning service at our Center for Spiritual Living-Los Angeles with Rev. John McLean, one member is asked to offer a "Special Blessing." This morning Terry Dadd offered a special blessing for "The Nameless." It was a powerful, attention-getting blessing!

Terry mentioned that we were all "nameless" at some point in our lives and that we actually know who the nameless are; they are the ones that provide service to us that we seldom notice or call by name. Wow!

How often have we in our busy, multi-task oriented lives, failed to really look at or acknowledge the person that's processing us out at a counter in a grocery store, restaurant, car wash or dry-cleaner's? Pause for a moment and think about your many interactions during the week; how many "nameless" people do you interact with? Now, pause for another moment and recall a time when you also experienced the feeling of namelessness. How warm and memorable was this experience for you?

For many of us, this "nameless" experience comes as a not-so-gentle reminder when we dial an 800 service number and find ourselves greeted by an automated, impersonal voice.

In the early days of my Marine Corps experience, I vividly remember the feeling of this "nameless" experience. When arriving for duty in Okinawa, we were shuttled around on "cattle-cars" and simply known as "Marine." I remember feeling like an animal being herded around and that other than being another "warm body," I didn't really matter.

I also remember this same nauseating experience when I initially began to work abroad for a company in Iraq. While receiving a excellent salary, who I was, what I thought and how I felt didn't matter. It was as though I was simply another warm body filling a position to provide a contracted service and make money for "the company."

Ultimately I grew beyond the insanity of this initial experience to obtain one of the most senior positions within the company and I was determined to provide a different experience for the many "nameless" employees and subcontract employees under my supervision.

While impossible for me to personally know the more than 5000 names, I was thankful for the opportunity to look into their eyes, smile while shaking their hands and graciously acknowledge their individual contribution on the "the project." Isn't that what we really all want? If one doesn't know our name, at least our existence is recognized.

What about you and those that you interact with daily? What about those that you interact with along the way, that you stand next to in the elevator, or sit next to on the bus, train or plane? Do you pause for a moment to acknowledge them as fellow-traveler's on their own life journey?

I so loved living on the Mississippi Gulf Coast from 1984 to 1991 and then in Georgia from 1991 until returning to California in late 2009. In rural Mississippi you could drive down the local street or highway and other's passing the other way would acknowledge you by waving. What a warm experience from fellow driver's that I never knew? What a gracious acknowledgement that we were each sharing the road and that nothing was lost in that acknowledgement!

Terry Dadd closed his "Special Blessing" this morning by reminding us that when we look in the face of the "nameless," we're actually looking in the face of God. And....those providing our service are not really nameless, are they? Most of them are all wearing name-tags!

I challenge you to step outside the box for a brief moment, and pause as we bless each other and see each other whole and perfectly complete! Alright, now we can each get on with our busy, head down, multitasking life experience.

Thanks for the reminder Terry.

Bennie Harris
April 29, 2012



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