I see you,’ is an African translation of the phrase ‘Sawubona’, which is the Zulu way of word(s) of greeting someone. The reply is, ‘I am here’, or Ngikhona.
I came across these phrases (again) in two books I’ve recently (re)read, and it’s also a greeting used in the movie ‘Avatar’, and each time I’ve read these phrases they’ve demanded more attention.
I find that greeting quite wonderful. In a face-paced culture it is easy to be forgotten, missed out or ignored, and none of us really like that. We all want to be ‘seen’, we all want to be acknowledged.
I’ve found, and one can understand it in a big city like London, that it is only very early in the morning, when few people are out and about, that anyone will say ‘hello’ to a passers-by. Past 6am, say, and you’re likely not to be ‘seen’. Before that time, or thereabouts, you will probably get an eye-two raise and a verbal ‘hello’. Ofcourse, in the country, such as in north Wales, most will say ‘hello’ to passers-by, regardless of the time of the day.
But, what does it mean to be ‘seen’, and to respond by saying, ‘I am here’?
I’m still exploring the connection. At the very least it is a sign of good manners. Delve deeper and it is an acknowledgement of someone’s presence, but there’s more, isn’t there?
At a deeper level, there’s a soul-connection. ‘I see you’, can (and does) mean I am aware of the real you, the inner you, the soul that ‘shines’ deep within. Have you ever glanced into someone’s eyes and made such a momentary connection? ‘I am here’, can then mean, I am here, I have been acknowledged, and therefore am valued because of you seeing me and for which I am grateful.
Do we really take time to pause and greet people as though we mean it? Can we be a wee bit dismissive? Should we take a little time with people, even strangers or passers-by?
But, what do you think? Is there a spiritual, soul-connection? What do you think?