Yesterday my wife made a comment that opened my eyes to the importance of taking notice. I had complimented her about her appearance in a particularly attractive blouse and she said, "Wow you really noticed me". This surprised me. She went on to explain how nice it was for a husband to notice his wife. I guess as some marriages progress, the familiarity can some times fall into failing to notice one another. Thank God we haven't slipped into that behavior.
In a greater sense of all social, business and public interactions I suspect we all cry out to those around us to "notice me". Isn't it annoying when we go to a store and go through the check out process with a clerk who is carrying on a conversation with a co-worker completely ignoring your presence? And on the flip side, I am sure I have failed to really notice my server at a restaurant on occasion. We all have a hunger to count in the world we live in. So we have an obligation to notice and care for others just as we thrive on support.
Now that I am advising students at Cornell, I am sure I should extend myself to really notice my advisees. During this past year we have had a regrettable number of suicides by some of our students. Perhaps some of these tragedies are the failure of friends, colleagues, staff and faculty to reach out and notice their plight.
In the world of education, I frequently hear stories of teachers who have been the catalyst for success of many students simply by noticing their plight, whether it be academic or personal. I am sure we all have many persons to thank for the hand up we have received just from being noticed.