Friday, May 08, 2009
In Little, Tiny, Ways
I received, so very long ago, a plea from a Friend who was burdened and feeling overwhelmed by the immensity of Mankind’s currently demonstrated disregard for others. The meanness, cruelty, and abuse reflected in the news was discouraging her heart. “What hope is there? How can we make any difference?” her wounded spirit cried. So, today, I offer these two snippets, from my own past, as demonstration of some simple, easy, and readily available ways, in which we can reach out to the world that lives so closely with us.
My sensitivity, to this matter of Opportunities, in my immediate Personal World, came into play that day that I entered an elevator, in one of the up-scale office towers, in the mid-town business district. There amid an assembled group of up-and-coming ‘corporate wannabes’ was an elderly gentleman of very slight physical stature who (in contrast to the group of “G.Q. - Trendies" parading their fine “haberdasherie") was quite obviously “off the rack.” It was immediately obvious that the man was more than a little uncomfortable in these surroundings, and I was acutely aware of his discomfort. To add to the dynamic, the group around him were all much taller than he and looked down at him with more than just a physical air of disdain.
“Please forgive my intrusion, my friend” I began, (I love the gift, of this means of introduction … [Thank you Leo Buscaglia]) “but, if you will allow my intrusion, you are only one small adjustment from being perfectly tailored.” I then reached over without a moment’s hesitation and (as though I did this sort of thing as a routine matter) turned down the standing collar, on the back of the neck, of his (what was, in all likelihood, 'Sunday and Funeral intended') suit. After smoothing the wrinkles away, I declared “There you are Sir, quite dapper. And, if I may say so myself, perfectly ready to enjoy your lunch.” (For the elevator was on its way to the top-floor (Private Club [which, no doubt, added to his discomfort]) Restaurant.) The Gentleman looked up at me and said (to the accompaniment of the warmest and most gentle eyes imaginable) “You are from around here, aren’t you?” Knowing that he was trying to communicate, a felt sense of community, with me, I responded “Yes sir, you and I are a couple of Local Folk, and I am happy to know you.” He responded with a smile, and as he exited the elevator (exuding a newly-found sense of confidence and belonging) bade me a "good day." And it was, indeed, a good day.
In that same building, there was (across the opulent atrium, and at the top of the expansive bank of entrance escalators) a desk, for the use of the building’s Concierge. At this desk a young woman fulfilled the role of attending to the needs (some real, but far too many supposed) of all coming to that place to conduct business. Day after day I had observed this young Woman, as she greeted each passing person, with a genuine smile, that never wavered, nor faltered, no matter the lateness of the hour, or the crush of the masses.
Many were the times when I exited that 'conveyor belt' of Humanity to have my spirits lifted by her gracious “Hello.” Then, one day, for no particular reason, that I can now recall, that 'Little Voice' (within my spirit) said “She needs encouragement today.” No further discussion was required.
To the Floral Shop (around the corner from the Concierge Desk) I went. Having secured a small bouquet, I attached a Card, upon which I wrote a note, expressing my appreciation for her uplifting, and encouraging contributions, to my daily work life, and with a “Please forgive my intrusion” I delivered it to her and promptly took my leave. I have no idea what matters she was dealing with that day. There could have been any of innumerable difficulties that she was confronting, or none at all. The point is that none of that was my business. Mine was only the responsibility (to that Power that spoke to me) to reach out, in love ... in a caring, human, but unassuming manner. Herein lies the core of my addressing the World made available to me, with my own, intimate, and honest, Personal Voice ... as I have discovered it ... and learned to use it.
In any number of the smallest of ways, You ... and I ... and Love ... can change our world. You just wait. Just watch. You will see. We can do this thing! (And it is so much fun in the doing!) [Loving, Encouraging Smile]
IMAGES: Through the gracious courtesy of Ian Britton, FreeFoto.com
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