Thursday, July 26, 2012

Other people as yardsticks

I've always been vehemently opposed to using other people as yardsticks to determine how you're measuring up but today I had a moment that made me think that other people might just be a reminder to ask yourself if you're showing up the way you want. I was driving with my daughter to a friend's house. It's a beautiful, sunny day...bright blue skies with those fluffy clouds crisp, white edges; the kind that make you think of pure snow or fresh linen or Monet. We were in a neighborhood known for the diverse personality of houses; the crazy neighbor was more frequently evident in the still present red, white, and blue decorations or bright purple paint. Let's just say that the day was....exuding. But something captured us. My daughter saw it at the same time that I did. We looked at each other and the look said everything that our words hadn't yet. There was a woman pushing a man in a wheelchair. He had on a baseball cap that was pulled down to block the sun from his eyes. He had fallen asleep. I'm not going to communicate this perfectly, so be patient. It was one of those wheelchairs that's longer than normal, that supports more of the body. From a glance, it appeared that he probably didn't have full use of his body....and here was a woman pushing a man on this gorgeous day, while he was sleeping which meant he wasn't even able to appreciate it....and yet, she gave herself unselfishly, investing in exposing this man to the day, the sunshine. She was there, showing up, even when she wasn't getting credit for it. I looked at my daughter and asked, "Did you see that? It was beautiful." she said, "Yeah, I know." we kept driving but I had to wipe to tears from my eyes. And I wondered, "Could I ever measure up to that yardstick?"

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