SELECTED POSTS FROM MY PREVIOUS BLOG (4)
TAKE TIME TO NOTICE
She sits in a cubicle in the Lady’s Washroom, and every once in a while, she’d get up to wipe the basin dry. She rarely makes eye contact, and if you pause to offer a word of thanks, she looks surprised, as if compliments are foreign in her solitary world. “Alone In The Crowd” is the phrase that comes to mind if you stop to observe her.
He sits at a corner of the Bus Interchange, unseeing, holding out packets of tissue paper that he hopes passersby will buy. When he doesn’t hear anyone around him, he slips into a still, silent cocoon of his own. Some people stop in a simple act of compassion, but far more are too caught up with their own thoughts or troubles to turn aside and reach out to him.
Tips for assisting someone who’s visually challenged
Give them your arm to hold when walking and let them set the pace.
(The guy in the cartoon should be standing on her other side!)
Stop For The One!
That’s the cry of a woman brimming over with love and compassion. Heidi Baker founded the non-profit IRIS Ministries that cares for countless orphans and provides free health clinics and feeding programmes for the poor and sick in Mozambique. Primary and secondary schools and cottage industries are other tangible demonstrations of genuine care and concern.
In his song I Refuse, singer songwriter Josh Wilson declares, “Sometimes I just want to close my eyes and act like everyone’s alright when I know they’re not. But I refuse. ‘Cause I don’t want to live like I don’t care. I refuse to say another empty prayer. I could choose not to move but I refuse. I refuse to turn my back.”
Someone noted that, “The faster our world gets, the less we notice people around us.” It’s not uncommon to see families and groups of friends sitting down for meals “together” but each person is focusing on an electronic gadget-checking a social networking site, playing a game, reading emails or picking up calls. Etiquette consultant Ms Manners would have a lot to say about such behaviour that’s become the norm!
Why not take time to notice someone today? Reach out to those who usually hover on the fringe and are seldom accorded any attention. Make a connection and find out something about the person that you never knew before. Here’s a challenge from a wise teacher: “Be nice to people who’re different from us, to those who won’t or don’t treat us well, and to those who can’t or won’t pay us back.”
Radical Living—what a world it would be!
“Keep in touch!” is a phrase whose context has been turned upside down, especially among those who make it a point to stay connected round-the-clock via social media and instant messaging applications. Not so long ago, a timely response meant getting or giving a reply the next day, but now some of our contacts may well express annoyance if they don’t hear from us within minutes or even seconds!
The benefits of constant connectivity are evident but the pitfalls shouldn’t be lightly dismissed. According to a new survey of 900 young people, many are struggling with growing stress as they try to stay in the loop all the time and actively participate in one another’s blow-by-blow sharing. The respondents aged 19 to 26 confessed that their social media commitments had a negative impact on their studies or jobs.
I read an amusing headline that proclaimed, “Stressed by social media? There’s an App for that!” As much of the urbanised world rushes along at breakneck speed, let’s take time to appreciate the meaning and importance of R.E.S.T. which is defined as:
– A state of quiet or repose; tranquillity; to be still
– Rest from physical or mental exertion that wearies or disturbs
– Peace; security; freedom from anxiety
There’s a lovely Hebrew greeting that can be used whenever people say Hi or Bye. It’s “Shalom” and it means well-being, wholeness, soundness, health, peace, rest, no agitation or discord, prosperity, safety, harmony and completeness.
Isn’t that beautiful? Well, dear reader, I’d like to wish you, “Shalom!.”