You would think wearing a nametag everyday would lose its charm quickly.
But after nearly twenty years, this simply social experiment has only grown more fun and more meaningful.
Like when the barista actually makes eye contact and greets me by name with her real smile on her face.
Or when a stranger on the hiking trail says hello, pats me on the shoulder and continues walking up the mountain in the opposite direction.
Still to this day, each of these moments allow me to see and feel seen. To experience a rush of joy and surprise and presence. And to create a real human connection that otherwise would not have existed.
It’s such a small and mundane thing, and for all I know, most people don’t even realize or even care about it at the time.
But it still matters. It still accumulates. Wearing a nametag enables me contribute to the compound interest of social capital our world sorely needs.
Becker’s research on the structure of evil puts it best:
Man must be built upon the basic human encounter, and that the self can only be developed in transacting with other selves.
And so, because we define the self in relationship to other people; because a person is a person solely because of the interconnectedness of the other persons around them; because when we see someone, what we are really doing in that moment is bringing them into existence, there is no reason to take this silly little sticker off.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How will you create acts of visibility in moments of anonymity?
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.
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