Just a couple of quick thoughts on an application of Amanda’s talk on charity. When you read or listen to words that remind you to be kinder, more tolerant, patient, and loving, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and vow to “walk the talk.” Putting the good intentions into practice is a little tougher, though. We’re all caught up in the business and busyness of life and often overlook the importance of the moment.
Yesterday I had a brief encounter that might not have occurred if I hadn’t been thinking of ways to more earnestly translate Amanda’s words into action. Even though my time was limited, I decided to go on a quick, short walk before work. Sometimes you just (or I just) feel like you have to “stretch it out” a bit. I figured 30 minutes was better than nothing, and that if I didn’t dilly dally once I got home, I’d make it to work on time.
That’s because I wasn’t counting on any interruptions. Although I usually pass other walkers, usually a nod or simple “good morning” will suffice. Not yesterday. An older woman whom I’d seen several times before stopped me, asked me where I lived, how long I’d lived there, what my name was, who my siblings and parents were, when I graduated from high school, and so forth. If any of you in Blogland are exercise enthusiasts, you know that I was “chomping at the bit” to get away from her and on my merry way. This little chat was cutting into my allotted 30 minutes, and I knew that if I didn’t hustle, I’d never get the minutes in. Or if I did, then I’d be late for work.
She then showed me this angry looking wound on her leg and told me about being bitten by two neighborhood dogs a month ago. The attack had resulted in stitches and some unpleasant legal stuff. Then she went on to tell me when her daughters had graduated from high school and wondered if I knew either of them. I mentioned that one of my brothers probably knew the younger of the two daughters, and that’s when she (let’s call her Mrs. A.) said, “She died nearly four years ago.” I immediately expressed sorrow at hearing this, and that’s when Mrs. A’s eyes filled with tears as she said, “Today is her birthday. She’d be 54.”
There are moments when words are inadequate. What could I do but hug her? So there in the middle of the street (the side actually) at 7:00 a.m., a complete stranger and I shared a hug. I was thinking that she and her husband could comfort each other when she told me he had died a couple of decades ago. The other daughter lives in another area. I’m sure Mrs. A. has good friends and activities to keep her occupied, but still….
I’m so glad that I got over my restless, selfish attitude and relinquished my moments of pounding the pavement. Some things are more important that putting in the miles. Just in case some of you might be thinking that I’m Ms. Goody Two-Shoes, think again. I’m just as preoccupied with my own little world as the next person. It’s just that for once I stopped and listened and felt pretty good about it. It was easy…and I’d like to think it helped Mrs. A. a little bit. Isn’t there something you can do too?