Sunday, October 30, 2011

Do Right #14: Visit The Elderly

I have reached an age where my grandparents are getting old, very old. I feel so lucky to know them and to know them well. To know what I can say to make my grandmother laugh, to have a grandfather that will take me to dinner or to the theater.

I was born an only child with eight living grandmothers-great and great great grandmothers. The elderly have always been part of my life. I now volunteer and am on the board of a senior living facility in Seattle. I see everyday elderly people that have no visitors. People who light up just from saying hello to them or taking a moment to see what they are up to. It breaks my heart to think of them feeling alone in the world.

I try to imagine what it will be like when I am elderly and how I would want to be treated. How I would hope my children, grandchildren and friends would visit with me and be interested in me.

The elderly have so much to offer. Sure they have slowed down a bit, but they offer us so much knowledge and life experience. Take a moment to pick up the phone, call your grandparents or other elderly relatives or better yet pay them a visit. I am sure you hope someone will do the same for you some day.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Do Right #13: Silence is Golden

This originated from my husband who is a huge audiophile. He was at a listening party, where people go to actually listen to music, and someone walked in the back of the room and was rattling the change in his pockets non-stop. He then proceeded to start wringing a piece of paper he had in his hands with complete disregard for the silence in the room and the people listening intently to music.

Ironically, I went to an acoustic concert just days later and found the exact same to be true. People came in late and would talk and get situated all while the concert was already fully in progress. Then a woman who was clearly tone deaf started singing along to every song in a quiet concert hall. I don't think she could realize that we could all hear here almost as clearly as the performer we came to see.

All of this made me realize how wrapped up we all become in ourselves and don't pay attention to the surroundings we walk into. I am sure I have done the same thing at some point, I am sure we all do- talking on our cell phones, having conversations with our friends, digging through our purses, rattling things in our pockets. It is the same lesson again and again, isn't it? We need to stay present, be aware of things other than ourselves. Maybe that really is the real lesson in life.