Sunday, May 21, 2017

Being more mindful of others

      Everybody has something going on. Each of you has a different reality you are struggling with daily.
     You rush around doing life “things” totally engrossed in your own big problem. That’s where your energy is pulling you. Zapping you often, too.
     It’s completely natural.
     Occasionally, like now, you are reminded that every single one of us is owner to a different big problem inside our heads. 
     No. Not one of us is exempt.
     I am writing this column on purpose, not just for you, but for myself, too. You and I walk around with blinders on too much of the day. Now let’s give ourselves a mental check.
     Be more sensitive to others.
     Go ahead, and repeat it several times. Post a note by your computer or on the refrigerator.

      Most people you encounter will never share the big problem that is consuming their body, mind and soul.
      Performance on the job must be executed at the highest level. You expect it of yourself and others. The big problem must be pushed aside temporarily.
     However, you notice that the parking lot attendant, waitress or receptionist is a little “off’ and not on his game plan. Give each a little slack. It might be the best encouragement they get all day on the job when their heart is heavily weighed down with a big problem.
     Once I was in the process of buying a new phone and I noticed the salesperson was rather quiet. He answered my questions and went through the paces. Further into the discussion he mentioned that he would be leaving shortly and would be handing me over to another salesperson. He paused for a moment, and told me that he was going to his grandfather’s funeral. Unfortunately, he couldn’t take much time off and I could see he was suffering greatly. I backed off. I waited for the next salesperson.
     When you have a physical ailment you stretch the mind and soul to think positively for a faster and better outcome. Financial burdens certainly affect all aspects of a person’s being as well. Any worry or fear without an anchor in our soul can easily get the best of one. Death of a loved one takes its toll.
    None of our big problems are unimportant.
    Not everyone wants to talk about his or her big problem either, or be defined by it.

     Each of us is a person first – perhaps married with children and a job - which happens to have a big problem. Doctors and mental health providers treat the whole patient, and the rest of us should do likewise. No one wants a pity party. Well, at least no one does for any length of time if they know it isn’t a smart idea.
     When the big problem has diminished into the background, we forget, don’t we? It’s as if the mind can only deal with a weighty issue for so long.
     More than likely, s person with a big problem will have the widest smile on his face and appear more at peace than you could ever imagine. He has his way of coping, support network and belief system in place. You admire him for walking tall through life with grace and dignity out of his usual comfort zone.
     You wonder if you would be able to be like any one of these folks when your time comes to step up to your big problem.      Somehow or other it happens to all of us, and we manage at the moment.
      Interestingly enough, these are the very folks out doing more good for those less fortunate than themselves. You and I could mention on two hands those gentle souls with big problems that turn around and bless others with their love in deeds right in our own town.
     I am thinking of wonderful human beings that have such a spirit about them. I’m not sure that any one of them needs our affirmation in print. They do decent things simply because it is the way they have lived their entire lives.
     Sit in the waiting room of say, the Wilmot Cancer Institute in Rochester, or the new Ann and Carl Meyers Center in Dansville, for any period of time, and it is humbling to be associated with patients, caregivers and staff with the right winning attitude. There are heavy stakes tossed out there in the pitch of darkness. Uncertainties prevail. The comfort comes in the assurance that a team is collaborating on plans for the big problem. 
     At Wilmot I was minding my own business reading a magazine, and a couple leaned over into my space waiting to be noticed. They could tell that I wasn’t a “regular.” I looked up. The gentleman told me they were there for his ten- year cancer free check-up. They were both ecstatic.  How could I not celebrate for a brief moment with a high five? It was a big deal.
     I notice on Facebook the child of a friend with cancer fiercely making her way between school, treatments and life in general. I cheer right where I am for this precious young one. Yes.
     The world is so guarded and fearful today you have difficulty making your way through. For self-preservation, circles tighten and therefore, love can’t escape.
     Frankly, looking out beyond your personal horizon is refreshing and healthy. Remember to pay attention.