Sunday, October 18, 2009

Our differences

I had a great conversation with a dear friends mother last night. We were talking about how she invites students from the university into her home for meals and to give them a mother figure while they are studying so far from their home countries. She does this because she came here from another country and within her first few years here she suffered from terrible migraines and was in the hospital for weeks thinking she was going to die. Nobody came to visit her and she felt very alone....she considered moving back to her home country at that point, but ended up moving to a different state, met her husband, and the rest is history.

She feels as thought she is providing this wonderful service to students as a way of giving back and I think it's amazing. While we were talking I asked her out of the 30+ years of giving herself to others if anyone has ever taken advantage of her. She recalled one individual who would demand instead of ask, expect instead of wait for an offer, and someone who pressured her to sacrifice time with people who truly loved her so that she could provide services for this individual. And then she gave me an "ah ha" moment......

She said "Look at your fingers, see how they are on the same hand, but they are all different? They are all serving the same purpose, but they move differently and look differently, and they respond differently to things. That's how I look at people. We are all on this Earth serving the same purpose - but we are all different and we shouldn't expect people to all be the same, we should expect anything from anyone and should be as gracious and as kind as we can be. The people that walk around with expectations will have to answer to their selfishness one day and I know that when my time comes, I will have to answer for myself."

Ah ha! What a great lady and I'm so happy that I got a chance to listen to her talk about her experiences. She brought up forgiveness and how she forgave the individual who did her wrong because again, she had no control over what the person did to her and although it was wrong, this person would have a higher power to answer to one day. And I think that is so powerful, forgiveness is such a difficult thing to do.

I accept others and all of the differences that we bring to this Earth, I try not to judge or label others because I don't like to be labeled or judged myself, and I am working on how to forgive others - I think that is something we work on through our entire life because not every painful situation is the same and there is no blanket statement for forgiveness.

What a great end to a wonderful day.....there are opportunities for us to learn every day, sometimes we have to look for them, and sometimes you find them in the most unexpected places. Every day when you wake up you need to find the thing within your day that is going to make you a better person than you were yesterday. I am excited for the opportunities to learn yesterday and can't wait to see what today brings!

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