Thursday, June 2, 2011

In Our Own Little Worlds

Life is so different for all of us. We tend to get caught up in our own little worlds and we don’t know what is happening to all those around us. Well, in a general sense, yes. But, on a more micro-scale, no.

As I drove to work today, I had my new (to me) Katie Herzig Apple Tree album cranking in the car. My windows were down. Temperatures were in the low 70s. I got a solid night’s sleep. All was good in my world.

I looked around at other drivers. I didn’t really see anyone looking as happy as I was (it was before 8 a.m….) I saw a lot of sleep- or caffeine- deprived people with blank stares. One man in a pickup truck took the longest, deepest drag from his cigarette that I had ever seen outside of the movies. As if it was his last ever. His eyes were looking off to the side, but not looking at anything physically around him. He had some serious thoughts going on in his head. But, of what?

Do we really want or need to know what everyone else is doing or thinking or going through? Sometimes, I find it fascinating to watch people. To create a life’s scenario for them in my own head. Can we really imagine what any particular person is going through at that very moment?

My mind goes to one person, one family, who is experiencing something I never would have imagined for them. My cousin’s son was brought to the hospital last week. Thirteen years old. Having a non-stop tic storm from his recent (only a few years) diagnosis of Tourette Syndrome.

I was going about my weekend. Happy as a clam. Yard saling. Finding my new bike. My cousin sat in the hospital 600 miles away with her son in intensive care. I soaked up the sun on a 17-mile bike ride and then at the beach where I went on my first swim of the season in the ocean that was at a balmy Maine 60 degrees and then I went to a neighbor’s for a cookout. My cousin’s son had a brain bleed. I snuggled into my bed with my newest book to read, Illusions by Richard Bach. My cousin’s son was being taken off the ventilator. I went to work with my tunes cranking. My cousin’s son had five brain bleeds and she was told he probably had a mini stroke. I’m feeling warmth, energy, vitality, love. My cousin is feeling pain, sadness, anxiety, anguish, worry. I’m getting ready for bed in the quiet comfort of my home as I write this. She’s worried sick about the outcome of her son, one of a set of twins. Spending countless hours in the hospital.

Every day, we are all truly on different journeys at the same time. I think it would help to be more compassionate and empathetic towards others and realize that not every journey or day is an easy one. When someone does something that ticks you off in traffic or perhaps they aren’t as friendly at work or in the store checkout line like you think they ought to be, think that maybe all isn’t right in their world. Maybe give them a smile and send good energy their way. And, in that moment, give thanks and appreciate all the good things that you have in yours.

1 comment:

  1. Love this...but from a personal perspective...working in a hospital setting for many years totally skewed or hardened my perspective about what others might be going through...because perhaps that person in the car next to you was having a bad day but rarely could you imagine that it was worse than that person you just took care of in the Emergency Room or in the Special Care Unit...and that is where it all became fucked up...because you felt no empathy for anyone...just an I'm glad it isn't me and I've got to up my insurance because it can happen to anyone....I've got proof!!!


Please share your thoughts and comments. Thanks!