Michael Mahony cannot see you. But he looks at you. Really looks at you.
Michael Mahony is going blind from macular degeneration. It’s a way to lose your sight, slowly. He still sees shapes and shadows, and goes about his business with familiar movements so that, not knowing about his condition, you would easily think he sees everything.
Actually, he does better than that. Because when you speak to Michael Mahony, he looks right into you. He focuses only on you, on what you are saying, and you have the sense that nothing could be more important to him at that moment than what you are communicating. He validates you.
It’s a gift, really. From Michael. He has a natural way of making you feel relevant, important, interesting, so you want to be around him. You get his attention because he thinks you deserve it, no matter who you are or what you are saying. I once read that to be universally interesting, you have to be universally interested. That's Michael Mahony.
When you are speaking to Michael, he is in the moment; he looks at you with his eyes that can’t see. But what he does see is who everyone wants to be: a whole person with a message worth hearing. Real simple. He gets that. You see?
Thank you, Michael.