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Posts Tagged ‘patience’

Middah (character trait) focus: Honoring our elders – Ki-bud ze-kei-nim

Note: I will be Counting the Omer for a total of 49 days, from Passover to Shavuot or from Slavery to Freedom.  For many, this is simply the Counting the Omer; for me, it is a time to actively reflect on different middot (character traits) that will lead me to my own rebirth.

My parents never made it to old age; until January, I had rarely experienced being with someone who was growing older and needing some assistance in order to navigate life.  In fact, it has only been very recent that I have noticed that I have some close friends that are experiencing things that I thought only happened to older people.  In the last few months, I have had close friends have cataract surgery, knee replacement, hip replacement among other things.  Don’t these things only happen to people that are getting older?  I wouldn’t know, of course, because I am not really aging – am I?

Seriously though, since my ‘professional’ position went from full-time, to half-time, to jobless, I have had the opportunity to help people that are aging.  For some, aging happens slowly; for others, it happens more quickly. Every person ages on their own trajectory.  Bottom-line, people that are aging need support; sometimes they need help with basic skills and other times just with some harder tasks that were once a norm.  Honoring our elders, all of our elders is simply everyone’s responsibility.

Recently, I had the experience of watching a system that is supposed to care for their residents, fail.  The good news is that I believe this was not a norm for this location, but it wasn’t nice for the period of time that things were going wrong.  If you have your loved ones in a facility, make sure you are checking in and that you really know what is going on with your loved ones.  Unfortunately, some seniors, like children, do not have the words or the ability to protect themselves.  Protecting our loved ones and friends should be second nature; make sure you make no assumptions and that you stay alert.

What I know now is that caring for older loved ones or anyone that is older takes patience and kindness.  Each and every person deserves respect regardless of whether or not they can understand everything going on.  When you see a parent, a friend, or even someone shopping who seems older and perhaps frustrated, take a moment to find out if you can help in any way.  And remember to always treat not only older folks, but all folks, as human beings.

May I be blessed with the discernment that allows me to take care of those that need my love and care; may I always have an open door to really see what I need to do in order to care for those that I work with.

Honoring my elders and all human beings is not optional.

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PatienceSand

Throughout much of life, we wait. . . .

We wait for many things:

  • to grow up
  • the phone to ring
  • letters to come
  • life cycle events
  • to make a difference
  • the perfect job
  • news
  • sickness to turn to healing
  • appointments to happen
  • the right words to come
  • pain to end
  • joy to emerge
  • time to pass

Change takes time.

Living into the moment takes time.

With each breath, I am profoundly impacted by what is happening around me.  Just below the surface is beauty waiting for the right time to sprout up into the world.

Always waiting; always seeking patience.

But for now, I have to navigate life one breath at a time.

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart

and try to love the questions themselves.

Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be

given you because you would not be able

to live them.  And the point is to live everything.

Live the questions now.  Perhaps you will then

gradually, without noticing it, live along some

distant day into the answers.

 

~Rainer Maria Rilke, Letter to a Young Poet

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