#AndThatsWhyYoureImportant is trending today. There are all kinds of things I can write that are uplifting, things I believe about how everyone is important, my belief that I need to Love Everybody and Make ‘em Feel Good About Themselves, and unconditional love. I could put in the quote from the West Wing about the man who falls in a hole and how I will always jump om that hole with you, no matter how long it’s been or what has passed under a burned bridge.
Instead, I will tell you what I do at my part-time job.
I work at a group home for developmentally disabled adults part-time. I do this for a number of reasons, some financial, some personal and some because MY BACK UP PLANS HAVE BACK UP PLANS (proof that your children eventually do know you well) but a big part of it is that I want to have a job that does some good. Since we gotta earn, might as well earn in a way that makes someone else’s life better.
We have a resident who is on hospice care. She’s non-verbal, can no longer walk and her sight and hearing are poor. She stays in bed most of the time as we work to keep her comfortable. Every time, when I come into work, I go into her room, check on her, and if she’s awake, I hold her hand. She grabs on tight and shakes her hands in the air, waving her hand around and sometimes “singing” as she does so.
When she could walk, she would dance by stomping her feet, waving her hands in the air and “singing”. Sometimes, when I do a sleeping shift, if I come in and she’s agitated, I’ll go into her room and hold her hand until she either calms down or her pain meds take effect and she goes to sleep.
It’s a little thing to me. Just 5 – 10 minutes on a normal shift or up at 30 minutes on an overnight sleep shift. I’m just holding her hand and being there, and sometimes I put in a CD for her to listen to and sing along in my VERY deep voice (which has a tonne of bass in it) and she can feel the vibrations.
Guess what? You can do something like this too. Open a door for someone, pay it forward at the coffee shop, call a friend whose facebook posts make them sound sad or lonely, help a co-worker, bring a glass of water to someone who can’t get away from their desk, have extra cough drops in your pocket, text someone you haven’t heard from in a while and ask them how they are doing, send a joke to someone you care about, forgive everyone, pick up that trash someone accidentally dropped and throw it away, give someone in your neighborhood cookies, whatever. You can do a little thing to make it better for everyone.
SO many people on my feed are upset about political things, social things, economic things…I get it. I do. But if you can’t change the macro, change the micro. Why are you important? Because every day is another chance to make things better.
Much love to friends old and new, and while it’s a cliché, you CAN be the change you want to see in the world.