Friday, April 15, 2011
Happening to One Another
From Eric Berne, M.D., the architect of Transactional Analysis, my home-base psychological modality of my psychotherapy practice, in “What Do You Say After You Say Hello?
Berne poses the book’s title question: “What do you say after you say hello?”
Answering his own question in the book’s introduction, Berne explains it thus:
This single question… “really contains within itself all the basic questions of human living and the fundamental problems of the social science.”
The answer to the question is essentially that after we say hello, we happen to one another.
“Happening to one another” means that we see the other person as a wonderful phenomenon.
Obviously this is not a high speed, internet –favorable activity.
Nonethess, if people did take the face-to-face time, slow down, even at a Starbucks, people possibly could happen to one another.
How could we not transcend the polarization that diversity can create, if we follow this path?
Berne illustrates his point, telling a little story about the genuine smile of the Fiji Islanders, “one of the rare jewels of the world.”
“It starts slowly. It illuminates the whole face... and it fades with secret slowness as it passes by."
Only the smiles of an “uncorrupted mother and infant greeting each other” compares,. Berne suggests.
We will reach awe, if we hold our course.
Maybe slowly. But certainly.