• “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. Dr. Suess

Friday, August 10, 2012


Have you ever been really, really hungry?
Or thirsty?

This week I started a new medication.
When we picked it up at the pharmacy I was wearing a hat.
A big brimmed, straw with a nice bow at the back.
It was only 105° F outside.
I like hats.
I have several.
Mostly no one notices them.
I wear them when it is very hot.
(And when I am having a bad hair day.)

The pharmasist told me all the gory details about taking the medication properly and then, just before we walked away he said, "Oh, by the way, try to stay out of the sun," and then explained that the medication can cause users to burn very easily.

As he said, 'Oh by the way try to stay out of the sun', almost like an after thought, he uninterrupted himself. What he actually said in his broken English that I will not try to mimic was, "Oh, by the way, (but I see you are already wearing a hat so that is very good) try to stay out of the sun because ..."

I am so silly - that almost brought a tear to my eye and I definitely walked away from the pharmacy with a lilt. WHY?

What was that about?

I have thought carefully about why I felt so good about a stranger's casual comment. I felt really funny conflicting emotions. Some of my thoughts were absolutely off the wall - in multiple directions all at the same time.

In retrospect I came to understand I am hungry.
And maybe we all are.
Perhaps like many, I am almost starved to death.
Or maybe I just needed a treat.
I did buy myself some goodies.
BUT there are some things money can't buy.

His simple affirmation of something common place and common sense, assuaged a hunger I didn't realize I had. I believe we all have it. We want to do something good and right - for ourselves and others.  Are we famished? Even if not starving a little 'cookie' is kind of nice. We truly like need to know when our choices matter.

Each day since then I listen to myself (and others) with a question. Am I affirming the existence of each person I interact with? In some small way do I help them know they are a competent, capable human being? Do I validate good, even common normal, choices they are making?

If you are out of bed and dressed for the day that is a great  choice. If you are washed and you chose to wear fresh clean clothing or brush your teeth or tidy you hair that can take real faith for some of us - I recognize that.

Should I tell you about it?
Maybe not quite like that.

But might I say, "Good morning, you look nice today"?
Of course it could have a kazillion variations.
Hello, good afternoon, hey, what's up.
Sweet shoes, nice color _________, whatever, etc.

Anything acknowledging you are and can.
Surely I can agree with you about something.
Surely I have some kind of food for you.
Some little tidbit.

Can I share it?
Will you accept it?

Let's eat, drink and be merry together.
Let's feast!!!