There is a Japanese phrase, “ichi-go ichi-e”. Loosely translated, it’s a way of saying “every moment is unique and should be treasured for what it is”.
What is meant is that every encounter one experiences is really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and won’t be repeated. It was originally associated with the Japanese tea ceremony but can be used anywhere.
Each meeting whether it’s with strangers on a bus or with friends we have known for a lifetime is unique and will never happen in that exact same way again. No matter how many times it’s repeated it won’t be the same.
Of course with some people you meet this is a good thing and we don’t want to meet them again for whatever reason. It could be they are unpleasant or dangerous or we don’t like them or because they hold us back from where we want to be and who we want to be. In those cases we are glad it’s a unique event.
With the people we want to spend time with it’s a good thing also since every meeting is an opportunity to grow and learn new things. It’s an opportunity to appreciate what we have and the gifts that life has given us.
Something for you to try.
The next time you meet people, whether it’s a chance encounter in a shopping mall or at a lunch meeting, is try and not say anything, just listen to what is being said and focus on the person who is speaking. Take a back seat in the conversation and let them take the lead and direct the conversation to the topics they want. Engage them only enough to keep them talking since that’s what we are wanting them to do.
The way someone talks to you or others and the things they talk about can tell you a lot about a person and their feelings. Listen to the tone of their voice and any emotions they are showing. Do they move their hands or body as they talk. Do they talk about themselves, do they talk about others? Is the overall conversation positive or negative? These can tell you a lot about someone and what they are thinking.
One reason to learn these things is that sometimes what someone says isn’t what they want to say but what they think others want to hear. You can gain some valuable insights into others and what they truly think about you, others and themselves.
If you find people who are negative that are taking up your time, why are you spending your valuable time with them? I am not a fan of negative people and try to limit their influences on me and the people I love.
You can also learn a lot about yourself as well. How do you react to what someone is saying? Does their tone of voice annoy you or does it make you happy? Do you enjoy the feeling you get when sitting and listening to them? Why is this?
Why do you feel what you feel? Good or bad there will be reasons though they may be hard to find. Being aware of your reactions to people and what they say and do are valuable in your own journey in self understanding and will tell you a lot about yourself.
Every moment is unique so treasure what you can learn about yourself and about others. You never know where it might take you.