Awareness Part 6, Radiance:

The former minister at our neighborhood church was gifted in an unusual way.

He didn’t “preach”. He didn’t need to. His presence alone brought joy to people’s lives. Everyone felt it. I never got to know him on a personal basis, but just to shake hands with him made me feel better. I used to study him, trying to figure out what made him so charismatic. I could never quite put my finger on it.

In a similar, but different vein, I have a friend who can walk into a bar and in no time, an attractive women will initiate a conversation with him. He’s handsome, but I don’t think that’s the whole picture. I’ve studied him, trying to figure out what makes him so attractive. Nothing obvious jumped out.

I was sharing this with MJ and she clarified it for me. The difference between you and him, she said, is he is actually interested in people!


But that makes a lot of sense. For most of us, awareness centers on “Self”. When we find that rare person whose total focus is our favorite subject, we are drawn in!

Very few people center awareness on others by default. I don’t think I could fill up the fingers on one hand counting the people I know. There are of course gifted sales people who feign interest, but that’s not the same thing.

I decided to test MJ’s charisma-hypothesis, but immediately encountered a problem. Putting my complete undivided attention on another person for a sustained period of time is exhausting, which of course is easily noticed.

This rare “others-focused” perspective deserves a name, I decided to call it Radiance.

Think how wonderful sunshine feels on your face after a long stretch of cloudy weather. That’s what it’s like to be around radiant people. Awareness is energy. Most of us draw it inwardly to our “Self”. Once in a while, we meet a person who turns this around 180 degrees. They light our lives!

Egotistical people suck the energy out of a room, literally! Radiant people bring energy to the room. We can actually “charge our batteries” in their presence. Who wouldn’t want to spend time with such an individual?

Given its rarity, I suspect Radiance is innate. That doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t work harder to shift awareness from our self to others more often.

Like I said earlier, it doesn’t work if it’s faked. An actual shift in our center-point of reference is required for others to experience the benefit. Perhaps like Presence, it’s a perspective that can be developed with practice.

I’m not sure, but it’s certainly worth a try!

Key Principle: Discovering the role awareness plays in life
Key Question: Is there a Radiant person in your life?

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3 Replies to “Awareness Part 6, Radiance:”

  1. Radiance is a great word—- some people have it initially more than others as you point out. But the key to an individuals lasting influence and Radiance is that the initial Radiance is backed up by so many of those other characteristics that you have been talking to us about for these last number of Sundays. Otherwise the Radiance is just fleeting and actually becomes an even greater feeling of disappointment and longer lasting dis-trust of that person…, yes it is a great attribute to have but it better be backed up to have long lasting resonance, trust and influence.


      1. I think true kindness, patience and wisdom come through when interacting with people. Have you ever noticed those who interrupt you while you are discussing something? (even to agree) When talking to one of my kids teachers (who is also a friend) it seemed you could not rattle this woman, she would nod and listen to a point that it actually made me uncomfortable. She actually made me feel like a kid and I should shut up and listen to her.


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