I believe one of the most basic human longings is to be seen and heard. Sometimes our path of life manages to pull the desire out of us, but it is still at the heart of who we are. We crave being acknowledged--not for the things that we have done, but simply to know we have value. We want to know we matter to someone and we are cared for. We want to know our presence means something. When this is conditioned out of us (whether emotionally, physically, or spiritually) we become less than who we are supposed to be. When people walk by without noticing, we are marginalized.
This validation can't just be something we seek, but must be what we offer to others as well. To be truly human we need to open our eyes to the people around us and acknowledge their existence. Learn to make eye contact with our fellow sojourners in life and let them know they are seen. Refuse to walk blindly by people who are marginalized by others. Be brave enough to halt our schedules and let our presence say, "I see you. I want to hear you." We might discover we have more in common with people than we realize. These brief moments will bring value to those we see and even make our own lives just a little bit better.