It’s strange how often a message can repeat itself until it finally receives the attention it is inviting. Recently, a friend described what she learned when she chose to tour a facility that provided housing for persons living with Alzheimer’s disease. The facility was called the Sanctuary. Before the person giving the tour began, she shared some basic information. She included some relevant facts about communication. She reported that when preferring to have meaningful communication with another, it is important to recognize that 7% of what we communicate is in the words we choose, 33% is based on our tone of voice and 55% is conveyed by our body language. Is that why when infants or our pets looks up at us as though they think we are wonderful, we immediately perceive their loving message? It can even happen when a friend you meet not only greets you, but immediately finds a place for the two of you to sit down together. We take their message/gesture in as a gift. Maybe Simone Weil was right when claiming, “Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.”

Mary Rachel Kuebelbeck, OSB