Touching the World...One Person at a Time
This past weekend provided a few reminders of the humble roles we each actually play in our lives, and the humility that provides us poise while leaving the door wide open for friendships. I found these at a party and in the hospital emergency room.
About 120 people gathered for the chance to convey a thought that was declared on the buttons that were presented to each attendee when they entered the senior center where the party was held. Upon arrival, each was given a button that read "I am a fan of Izeal." Izeal is my wife's grandmother, former elementary school teacher to multitudes, volunteer in service to hundreds, taxi driver, and much more. She has lived well and genuinely, shared unselfishly, and been true to herself, her family and her faith. Her roles have never been those that draw acclaim.
But ten dozen people braved storms to wish her a happy 90th birthday. In attendance were her contemporaries, the parents of her former students, former students, church family members, friends from the senior center, her family and more. Each is a fan because of how she simply touched them. She gave, they received and now they are fans. She has the humility to accept genuineness and generosity as her calling with no expectations of reward. The reward for touching others one person at a time is being loved by many.
Immediately after the party, I took my youngest son to the emergency room because of a severe allergic reaction. In conversation with the nurse, she shared that her 97-year old grandmother was "a few floors up," because of a stroke the day before. The nurse received a call from one of her children inquiring about their great-grandmother. As she tended my son with poise and a smile, she cared for her own children and looked ahead to checking on her grandmother after her shift. All turned out well for us, and I hope it did for her family, also. I think of her grace, too, providing care and service without acclaim.
There is a common strand in both the women: care and service without expected reward. In the humble fulfillment of their roles and lives, they touch the world one person at a time. Can we do as much with the person near us now? If so, what will your 90th birthday look like?
Listen to Life is a free newsletter about learning and getting more from life by paying attention to our own stories and the stories of others, based on the presentations, writings, photography and workshops by Dion McInnis (www.dionmcinnis.com). Copyright 2009 Dion McInnis. All rights reserved.