One of the things that I appreciate about social work is that there is an abundance of things to do. You aren’t required to stay doing the same thing for decades at a time. There’s room to try something different and learn a completely new set of skills while still working in the field. One thing I’ve noticed is that while people are all different, they share a lot of commonalities as well. There’s a video that went viral recently where a lady was recounting her experience at a popular store. She observed a customer being nasty to a cashier that appeared flustered and to be having a bad day. After confronting the customer, the cashier shared that he had had a very recent tragic loss and was struggling to pay rent. The lesson from the story is that you never know what someone is going through so be kind to everyone. The holidays can bring up so many emotions for people as they remember loved ones they miss and re-hash old wounds with family members. It’s a time that many people are especially fragile and as someone who has worked in mental health, I’ve noticed there’s a increase in suicide attempts after major holidays. This isn’t an appeal for world peace (as much as we need it). Just a reminder to try to be a bit more patient and kind as you interact with people. You don’t know their stories.
One thing I’ve taken the time to be deliberate in savoring small moments. Like many people, it’s easy for me to get caught up in plans for the future and literally live months and even years in advance because I’m planning that far ahead. I have plan A’s, plan B’s, plan C’s, plan D’s and even plan E’s. My mind is constantly going analyzing and assessing my current situation and strategizing about my next move and what work is needed in order to make it a successful venture. However, I’ve had people remind me that it’s important to stop and smell the roses. I’ve had the chance to take some time and appreciate the small victories and happy moments in life that are often overlooked through all the crap that comes along with living in a bad world. Recently I had an experience that I’ve waited about two years for. The great thing was that I can honestly say that I took the time to just “be” in that moment. It was one of those things that I knew I might never happen again so I took the opportunity to savor it. While I’m somewhat of a patient person, the fact that I waited two years for it made it worth it. I appreciated it more and also understood that the moment was fleeting. Therefore, I just decided to enjoy it without allowing my mind to be distracted by the underlying meanings and motives and repercussions of the moment. In order for this to happen I had to make a deliberate and conscious decision to live in the moment for at least a moment and just “be” without a million and one thoughts coming in a spoiling the special-ness of the moment. Was it worth shutting out distractions and thoughts to enjoy the moment? Absolutely.
These words are so true in my opinion. As soon as I saw the picture I knew that I had to write on it. First off, I’m not a very patient person. I don’t usually have a problem waiting, but I do have a problem patiently waiting. One of the hardest situations for me is being in a situation where I can’t occupy myself with something else while I’m waiting. I recently got called for jury duty and I had an extremely hard time sitting in a room with nothing to do for a few hours with a several hundred people waiting for my number to be called. But I digress. The point of the picture as it pertains to patience is that patience is extremely hard to come by when you are waiting for everything. There are numerous rags to riches stories of people who went to poverty and still were patient and believed that their circumstances would not be forever. The second part of the picture talks about attitude. I think that we’ve all known someone or even been in a position ourselves where we’ve gotten a raise, promotion or some sort of upgrade in life and our attitude changes. Your thinking won’t change just because the amount of material possessions that you own did. I think that having “everything” is a magnifying glass on your true attitude. It’s interesting how our circumstances can be so revealing of who we really are as people. They can shape our perspective and make us more trusting or more suspicious of others. They can not only change us, but also show others our true colors and motives.