One of the nurturing practices that is spreading through society is mindfulness. A preschool special education teacher, Valerie Alexander, who works with my wife sent her the following. I thought it was such a touching example of being mindful that I wanted to share it. And, so with her permission, I do.
Today, as i was feeding my mom at her nursing home, I witnessed an interesting situation play out. Ming, an elderly Asian gentleman was done with lunch and was meeting his son for an appt. Ming is a little confused at times. He is a really smiley, friendly man. One of the aides was helping him “hurry” so he wouldn’t be late for his appt. The more she rushed, the more panicked he looked. As I watched him, he kept trying to “use his card” to pay for his lunch (clearly a remnant of his life before…). She (the aide) just kept saying, “No Ming. You don’t need a card. No Ming. Come on, you don’t want to be late”, over and over and over. When his son finally arrived. They wheeled him over to see his son. He glanced and smiled at him, but seemed distracted. He kept looking at where he had been sitting. I could see it. He wanted to go and put his “card” down to pay for his lunch. While the aide and his son were chatting about his day, he started to try and stand up, he was going to pay for that lunch! Then, “No Ming. No, no, no…Sit down! What are you doing? You silly.” He tried at least three times. Each time, no one tried to look in the direction his eyes were focused at to see what he might be thinking. So very much like what we do. We get in a hurry. We get focused on an unbending agenda and we miss an opportunity to connect. Imagine if they would’ve looked at where he was focused and could’ve said, “Ohhhh, you want to pay with your card, don’t you? (he nods) Look, today it’s already been paid for. It was free today. How does that sound?” Smile.