By Gary Hibbs
Over thirty years ago I took the Dale Carnegie course, knowing that communication was important in every sphere of life. One of the foremost things I took from that experience was a simple and profound truth- Carnegie said, “A person’s name is to that person the sweetest, most important sound in any language.”
How true! I feel so much more connected when someone uses my name with me or referring to me when chatting among a group. Has anyone, in your presence or when in a group setting, ever referred to you using a pronoun rather than your name? When I’m in a group, and someone points to me and says, “He said…” Rather than “Gary said…” it feels a bit, well, dehumanizing.
These are subtle, yet extremely important dynamics in our creation of community and civility here at Riderwood. Our own resident Dr. Mildred Rust (who insists on calling her “Mildred” rather than “Doctor!”) was recently a part of a panel that culminated our most recent diversity, inclusion and civility program effort called, “Stand Up, Stand With, Stand Together.” There she drove home so clearly the importance of using a name when connecting with another. It helps to humanize the other person and make us feel more connected. It brings more unity within the midst of our wonderful diversity.
Remember the show Cheers? One of their taglines, when you came to the Cheers bar, said that “it was a place where everyone knew your name.” Beautiful. Mildred calls on all of us here at Riderwood to use our name tags, and, to make them visible. This helps us all connect, which is something every human being longs for! I hope you have a wonderful new year in 2019, and I’ll look forward to seeing your name tag!
If you missed the “Stand Up, Stand With, Stand Together” panel discussion, tune in to Riderwood TV on January 4 through 6 at 11:30 a.m., 5:00 p.m., and 10:00 p.m. to view the event in its entirety.