Saturday, July 28, 2007

Saturday morning reflections

It is Saturday morning, and the sun is shining at the moment, and there is no wind. It really looks summery. Hold on, I need to go and take a photo.

Look! Just whispy cloud! (And a hedge which seriously needs hacking back too.)

The apples are ripening on the tree.....

And I saw this butterfly on the lavender too....

I have spent the past few days trying to get organised for our holiday, and the list is shrinking. I am one of those people who absolutely hates leaving a house which has not been cleaned, linen fresh etc etc, and everywhere I look I see things to be done. Sigh. I am also one of those people who comes home, no matter what the hour, from holiday, and immediately has the washing machine on, and cases unpacked and put away. But that is weeks away. We leave mid week.

Diana has plans for our stay which include Napier/Hawkes Bay, Rotorua, Lake Taupo, Auckland, Waitomo etc. Not to mention Wellington of course! The Coromandel too, I hope. And everything in between. And it is all new to me! And even though it is winter there, apparently they have had some warm and lovely days too, so I live in hope. But in the end, who cares about the weather? We will see and do everything we have planned, come rain or sun.

Those of you who have been around for a while will know (because I talk about it!) that I wake up in the morning and lie there, and list in my mind, 5 things I am thankful for before my brain really starts to work. I have found that this is an amazing way to colour my day. It is very hard to let panic or worry or anger or negative or pessimistic thoughts take over, when you are thankful. And it is incredible how, even on the dire-est of days, there is always something to be thankful for. More than 5 things.

At night too, I lie there and think back over my day, and the people I have interacted with, both here and in real life, and how much I have learnt and experienced, and even on what seems to be a boring day, there is so much which is new and exciting. To me. I want to be able to see like this when I am very old too. Anticipating adventures. Dreaming. Interacting with people, and sharing their ups and downs, means caring, and caring means exercising all the emotions visibly. And we all know that all exercise is healthy!

I had an email from one of the great young teachers I have been working with a few days ago. He said " you are different from the other people I have met in this country, because you are caring and you don't hide it." I have not written that to get any accolades, but because it is something I have mulled over ever since. It worries me. The fact that to a young man working in a strange land, we give the impression of being an uncaring society. Or more accurately, of a society which hides the fact that they do really care. Can anyone tell my why we need to hide the caring sides of our nature? What is it that makes us subconsciously stay detached? Fear of getting involved? Fear of perhaps having to step outside our comfort zone to do something practical to help? Fear of making ourselves vulnerable?

Maybe we are back to that ladder thing in the workplace, and status. If the places where we work are peopled only by the young and ambitious, often working thousands of miles from home, how many examples are there of caring and the setting aside of "self" to emulate? What if these young people do not have a church to adopt as family? It looks like a very hostile and scary world from that perspective.

What does it cost us to take some time ask a question, and really listen to the answer? To try to help find solutions to problems? To laugh and cry with people? To really care and not be afraid to show it? To go and talk to someone who is usually alone? To reach out? None of my business? I don't think so. Modern working environments seem to be driven by acceleration up those ladders, and there is an unhealthy emphasis on using the weaknesses of others to emphasise one's own strengths.

And if status and advancement just happen to NOT be your goal, then you are perceived as being a threat to those up the ladder, because without those dreams of status, there is no leverage. Hmmm. Give me the "Mother" tag any day. I love people. They are more important than things. I find people fascinating. And if I can make a positive difference to their lives, then I am very very thankful.

Do people know that you care?


Susie said...

Lovely reflections for a Saturday morning Linds.
You were paid a lovely compliment, but I think it's true that people don't often show that they care for probably all the reasons you've stated.
I'm not afraid to show others I care, but I do find that others find it hard to accept. Perhaps they feel they will be in someway indebted? Interesting food for thought on a bright summery July day..

Linda said...

What a loving, tender heart you have Linds. You are absolutely right. It is the way we were all meant to live. I believe that's what Jesus meant when He said we are to love others more than ourselves. I have been thinking lately, that selfishness is probably at the root of a lot of our troubles. It takes a bit of effort to put self aside and care for someone else.
You have written so well about this. It really doesn't take much. Just a kind word is sometimes enough to brighten someone else's day. Everyone seems to be so busy.
I am the same way when leaving for vacation or coming home. Goodness- what if something should happen and people were to come into the house and find a mess :-)
I like to get unpacked right away too. However, I am not quite as ambitious as you - I wait to do the wash the next day!
Your trip sounds so wonderful You must be so excited about now. I'm so glad you have some sunshine and blue sky. We do too! It just lifts the spirits doesn't it?
Have a blessed weekend Linds.

Penless Thoughts said...

It truly is so important for us to not only show that we care, but to truly care!!!! It's all about being interested in the other person and not so self absorbed in our own self and needs. When you begin your day, as you do, being thankful then you know how blessed you are and are eager to bless others. People really do notice, even if most will never take the time, as this young man did, to tell you.

Heidi said...

Wonderful writing Linds. I always feel like there's more we can do but it's just like you said, PEOPLE are what's important. So if we treat each interaction with them as important then they'll walk away knowing that they hold a value to us - hopefully!

Crystal said...

You have such good thoughts - thanks for sharing them! My husband always told me that my students wouldn't care what I knew until they knew that I cared.

I wish I had lavendar in my garden. I found a delicious recipe for Lavendar Cake today in our weekly farm newspaper.

Morning Glory said...

Wonderful reflections for me to read on a Sunday afternoon. Being able to show we care is such a lost art sometimes. I hope I never become so insensitive that my heart goes into hiding.