The great German Jewish theologian, Martin Buber, reminds us that words reflect attitudes about others.  “In the beginning was the relation,” he says.  The struggle for some of us (at least for me) is to treat the other more often as a Thou and not unconsciously as an It.  To help that, I gave up using the word “I” to start a conversation and to really focus on the other:  How are You?  How is Your family?  How are You doing lately?  Too often I unconsciously engage in this polite conversation not really out of interest in the other, but out of social propriety.  The gift of the other — their Thou-ness — is missed when that happens.  What a loss!  What an expansion to really focus on the other as Thou and throw propriety to the wind!

Hal, CT