Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Life in the Slow Lane

Welcome to Tuesday!

Many of the service ideas I blog about are from personal experience or from the experiences of those I’m close to – like family members.

Today’s is sort of a hybrid – it comes from my own recent experience as well as from experiences I saw from my dear late mama.

In her later years, mama couldn’t get around very easily. In medical terms, she was barely ambulatory. She required the use of a walker just to get from her bed to the living room and back. Stairs were usually not an option. If you were to be following behind her, you’d notice just how slowly and carefully she had to go just to get to her destination in safety.

Recently, I learned that the source of my tailbone and lower back pain is a bulging disc (between L4 and L5, according to the MRI). Because of this, I have had to slow down quite a bit. I’m not to the point where I need a walker, but I sure don’t move now like I did when I was a teenager! Sometimes, it just hurts to move about.

Why am I telling you this? Because I’ve seen the looks, heard the comments of people who get backed up behind me in public places. From what I see and hear from them, it appears they think I’m just old or that I’m some sort of tourist who would rather dilly dally than get moving and get out of the way.

I try not to let it hurt my feelings, and for the most part, I have thick skin.

But others don’t.

People who are in a hurry often don’t realize their comments or impatient glances are heard or seen. We live in a world where we post everything about our lives and so, I suppose, we think that real-time communication should be accepted as much as a Facebook status update or a Twitter tweet.

Unfortunately, in real life, in face-to-face communication, our words and actions aren’t always taken as a mere update about our lives. Our words and actions can really hurt people’s feelings. Just as troubling, an inadvertent shove to get someone moving faster could cause real and serious pain and injury, too.

So, here’s today’s challenge:

Be patient with someone today.

If you see someone moving too slowly for your tastes, realize there may be a valid reason for it. Be patient, wait for an opportunity to move ahead of them when its safe, and excuse yourself as you pass.

Better yet, if you have an extra moment or two, smile and ask if there’s anything you can do to help them.

Are they carrying something that looks heavy?

Are they struggling with a heavy door?

Why not take a few moments out of your busy day and open it for them? Why not ask if they need help carrying their heavy load?

One of the reasons we’re here on our mortal missions, I believe, is to help one another with the burdens we carry. You have an opportunity to do that today and to make a real and positive difference in the life of someone who is struggling.

Can you do it?

Of course you can.

Will you do it?

I hope you will.

Be patient today.

Be kind always.

Thank you for reading today’s post. As always, I encourage you to share this in whatever manner you can. Feel free to forward it, retweet it, post it on Facebook, Digg it, Stumble it… just get the word out.

You can make a difference my friend.

And, as always, please remember that Service is the Action form of Love.


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