When we got home from work yesterday we simply had to go out. The sky was a spectacular blue, the weather warm, it was the kind of afternoon that one had to go out for a stroll. I didn't even wear a jacket and Joe had tossed on something very light. We went over to the new Longos grocery store in our area and discovered that it was accessible to many but not to me. We exited from the somewhat embarassed situation with me never understanding why I'm embarrassed when employees of an faux accessible store aren't.
We decided to walk over to the bank and get Joe's new bank card operational. As we arrived there was a homeless guy there, a little drunk, and I was steering respectfully around him to get in through the door. He caught sight of me and with that blistering humour that drunks have, said, 'Hey, it's a wide load.' The others turned to me and all burst into laughter because, you know, it's a pretty funny line - when you are drunk.
I don't wish to go out by those wits again, I' was pretty sure that 'two ton Tony' was next on the list of HA HA's. So we continued in from the bank machine to the mall picked up a lottery ticket and then went back out into the street. On our way home I noticed the young man who I usually buy the 'newspaper' from. It's a paper that's put onto the streets so that people don't have to beg, they can sell the paper and simply keep the money.
He's a fragile person. When he speaks you can hear the broken parts of his heart all beating different rhythems and as a result his speach has none. I take the news paper and he takes the two toonies I offer him. He whispers to me, 'Thank you, you are a kind and dear man.'
At Vita, my place of work, we are about to begin a study in intentionality. How we can, from supervisor to direct care can become intentional in how we carry ourselves through the day. We've created little wallet cards, with five affirmations and five self evelauation questions. It's a brand new approach for us and we are interested in seeing how it works. I had brought one of the cards home from work. Before going out I read it, then placed it in my wallet.
I went into a sunny day, ready to be intentional in my caring. And it worked. For me, today, it worked. I know in my heart that if it had been an ordinary day of discovering a brand new store to be inaccessible followed by others who saw me as a source of humour. My heart would have been so guarded on the way home that I could not have taken a moment to be kind.
Maybe intending to kindness is the first step in caring well about others. That was a trial run. The research begins in a couple weeks.