I am presently sitting in my kitchen, watching the world go by outside my window. The other day I noticed that an ambulance and fire truck had been called to the apartment building next door and it was there for a very long time. This in itself is not unusual because the majority of the residents there are seniors so there seems to be a constant flow of ambulances. The difference that I noticed was the fire truck (not the ladder truck) did not leave soon after arrival. This was different....and so my interest at the time was peaked. Later I noticed that there were a number of flower deliveries to that same building over the course of the next couple of days. Today, there just seems to be great activity for so early in the morning...cars coming and going, people in and out....etc. Now let me clear up one thing...I am not the nosey neighbour you may think I am....I just happen to have about four very large windows in various places in my house that all face the apartment building...also there is absolutely nothing else around .........so that cleared up. Anyways, my point is that I am noticing things around me....and making assumptions on those activities....I am thinking that someone has probably died in the building....maybe not but not a totally unreasonable conclusion to come to. Based on that assumption I am sitting here sending positive energy and prayer towards the building.
It has made me think of another situation....and also realize that I am a person who NOTICES things and people. I go about my own life with some eye to the rest of the world and am not oblivious to my surroundings. Yesterday I was at the cancer clinic and something happened that really bothered me....
As I was buying a coffee at Timmies (and any Canadian knows the bustle that would be around that area) I noticed a young woman sitting close by and she was crying. She was doing so quietly, but it was very obvious that she was upset....as she constantly dabbed her eyes with a kleenex. I watched as all the people around, both patients and staff, continued on their way totally oblivious to this scene. I couldn't get past the fact that here I was in a hospital, with huge numbers of people around, and this woman was sitting all by herself in obvious distress. Now, I know too that this is not an uncommon scene in this environment but as far as I am concerned that doesn't excuse the lack of interest. I also know that many people there have their own concerns, distresses etc and probaby just can't imagine trying to console another (although it has been proven that helping someone else usually does more for oneself than the other)....but the staff didn't do anything either. I also am very aware that many people are afraid to do anything because they might be rejected.....in my career that happened alot...trying being a spiritual care giver in a hospital....very few people really want to see you initially....anyways.
I did go up to her, we spoke for a few minutes, I don't know if I helped, but she didn't reject me and I know that I felt that I had done what I beleive to be my obligation as a human being....I interacted with another when they were in pain....the one common bond that we have as humans....we are always closet to another when in pain b/c it is the one thing we all understand. I do know that it could have gone differently...she could have told me to bugger off...but that isn't the point.....we can't limit our actions to those situations where we know we will be accepted. We need to put ourselves out there and take risks.....life is about risks......if we don't risk anything how can we say we are living...we are simply existing in this world until we no longer exist. And finally, we are relational beings, it is our nature to interact with another, it is who we are at our base level and to ignore that is to make us something less than who we are meant to be.
My challenge for myself and for anyone else interested is.....do you notice those around you and are you willing to get involved in another person's life??????......your call!