Radiating Goodness

Radiating Goodness

So I met two amazing people today.

The first was a lady with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

She told me her story about how it was her 30-year anniversary this year. And she said she had been diagnosed with MS only one year after her wedding.

She almost cried when she told me that her husband had stayed with her all these years she was sick.

First, she had a nurse at home to care for her, and then when the demands were too much, she got into the nursing home and has been there since May, which she said wasn’t a long time and that it was good there.

Talking with her, I was amazed at how good an attitude she had for someone that had suffered so much and for so long. She was also an incredibly nice person and said how lovely some of the other patients looked today and that they should eat something to keep up their strength. This lady was truly inspiring.

The second lady I met was a private nurse for one of the elderly patients in the home.

She sat at lunch between the old lady she took care of and the other woman with MS.

Yet even though she was privately paid by the elderly lady, I was amazed that when she wasn’t caring for the old lady, she took the time and effort to care for the MS lady, whom she otherwise had nothing to do with.

In fact, she was alternating in feeding one and then the other. Also, making conversation with everyone else at the table asking how they were, taking pictures with her iPad mini (she found a place that sells them for only $79!) and saying how happy her patient was looking today and making her smile (even though the patient seemed unable to even speak).

It was truly amazing to see the caretaker generally caring for others, not just for the money or because it was her job, but rather because she could help and really wanted to.

I’ll tell you, there are still good people out there–some almost angels. And when you find them, it is a miraculous experience. You can almost see G-d in them. Like the physical world is just an illusion, but these eternal souls are what’s real–radiating goodness to every soul they touch. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Even The Buildings Smile

Even The Buildings Smile

Soon we will end the weekend and move into the next workweek.

As a kid, I remember people calling it “Blue Monday”–presumably because of the feelings people had going back to work.

I know some people that don’t even like to go out on Sunday evening at all, because of the anxiety they feel about the upcoming week.

But I thought this was a great photo that my daughter took to express the weekend joy and good feelings and the importance of carrying these forward throughout the whole week.

Someone actually drew this smiley face on the side of the building!

When my other daughter, Minna, asked my mom in the nursing home today for some words of wisdom, she reminded us all that “the years go by all too quickly!”

In her words, I understood that the main thing is to find meaning and purpose, give more than you take, and remember to count your blessings every day. 😉

(Source Photo: Rebecca Blumenthal)

People Needing People

Hug

My wife always tells me she needs a lot of personal space–she likes time and focus to do “her thing.”

No one nagging, yapping, coming around, asking for things…just some quiet time for herself.

I can appreciate that–we all need time to think, be creative, take care of personal things, and pursue our own interests.

At the same time, people need other people.

When we are done doing our things, we need human interaction, attention, conversation, sharing, touch.

I saw a few things this week that really brought this home:

1) The Netflix show “Orange Is The New Black” about a young woman put in jail and how she handles all the challenges of being incarcerated with literally a cast of characters. But in one scene in particular, she is thrown in the SHU (Solitary Housing Unit) and within about a day, she is hearing voices and talking to someone that isn’t there. Alone, she crawls up into a ball–like a baby–craving someone to come, anyone.

2) Visiting the nursing home today, I saw many old people screaming for help. It is a really nice nursing home as far as they go, and the people apparently weren’t screaming because of mistreatment, but rather for attention–a human being to be there interacting with them. Interestingly, even when the old people are sitting together, they are still yelling in a sort of helpless anguish being alone, only calming down when a family, friend, or caretaker comes over to them, touches their hand or hugs them, asks about their wellbeing, and shows genuine human caring. Yes, they have real physical needs they call out for help for too, but I think even many of those calls for help–too many and too often to all be for actual needs–are just for someone to come around and pay them attention and be there with them.

3) I remember years ago, seeing some parents put their child to sleep at night. But the child wanted their parent to sit with them and comfort them while they drifted off to sleep. But this parent strictly followed the Dr. Spock guidance that you just let them cry it out, and boy did this little girl cry and cry and cry. I said to my wife, this is not the right way–it can’t be. And I myself always fought that the children should be held and comforted when they cried, not forced at such a tender young age to be alone and “self-sufficient.”

While people need time and space for themselves, even the biggest introvert among us needs other people.

In solitary, people can literally lose their mind–alone, scared, desperate, but solitary doesn’t have to be a prison, it can be an emotional and mental condition where people are craving even just a hug from someone who gives a damn.

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Clover 1)