Nov 5, 2012

Honoring Others

"If I only have this time on Earth with this person, if I may never see them again, what is it I want or need to ask, to know?  What is it I want or need to say?" Mark Nepo

Mark Nepo says that since his cancer experience he enters every interaction with the above thought.  He says that interacting with others with the above intention "has opened me to wisdoms that would otherwise run silent beneath my time on earth."  Lovely.  It is so important to honor the people with whom we interact in this way.  Yesterday I was out running errands, and my low tire pressure light came on.  I pulled into a popular convenience store, called the tire repair shops in the area and found they were closed for the weekend, so I went inside to ask for help.  A young college woman was at the register, and she said she would help me.  Between the two of us, we got one lug nut off the tire that was going flat.  I waited awhile to see if anyone would offer to help, and then a large van pulled up full of adolescent males.  I approached them and asked if they would help.  The first one referred me to some bigger young men just getting out of the van.  In minutes these two young men, under the supervision of an adult male who was with them, had the tire changed.  It turns out they were a youth group from a regional city.  I am so grateful for their help.  They certainly honored me and my need.

Just as important as these seemingly chance interactions is it that we honor those people with whom we interact the most.  And, for most of us, these are the hard ones.  The little things that irritate us about the people with whom we share our lives, the fact that these people love us so it is sometimes safer to show up in less than our best in behavior with them.  It is important to honor the person with dementia too.  What is it we might want to say to this person or ask this person while we have the chance? 

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