By Nathan Klayman // Sundown United – Dallas (HQ)
I’ve never been what most people would call a “people person.” I know – this sounds like I do not like people, or that I do not feel the need for people, or social interaction.
That I’m unfriendly. Antisocial. Aloof. Cold. Pick your term, and I’m fairly certain that my initial assertion probably sounds as though any or all of those could in fact, be apt terms.
I won’t compound things by lying to you, readers – I will be the first to say that I am not a social butterfly. I spend a good bit of time alone, or in limited social contact. I’m awkward, tend to be flustered when meeting new people, and do not do well in crowds. I am far from unfriendly, or aloof, but I repeat: I am not a “people person.”
Rather, I am a person of people.
Which people might these be, you ask?
I’ll start with the obvious people that most all of us start our lives with – parents. Family. The friends that I made early on. The friends that I’ve made along the path to today.
The less obvious: the people that I’ve worked with, throughout the years. Bosses. Co-workers. Clients.
Those people, as well.
Those that we see, and often overlook, or dismiss: the people that I see, day to day, every day – from the cheerful guy who made me my coffee with a smile, and laughed at my attempts to be funny, to the homeless man that Stacy and I bought coffee for, when it was freezing outside. The mom pushing her kids down the street in a double stroller. The guy getting a last minute jog in before heading to the office. The young couple walking their dog.
Yes, those people, too.
And of course, the people of the future days – the friends not yet met and made, or co-workers, still waiting to be hired. Faces I have yet to see, but someday will. Yes, those people, too.
We are all the people of people, for as 17th century poet John Donne so aptly observed, “No man is an island/Entire of itself”; while we are all individuals with discrete borders, we are all interconnected by the lives that intersect our own, and thereby become a part of one another.
And so, in that way, I am not a people person, but a person of people. Like you. And you…and you…and you.
All of you.