Sunday, October 21, 2012

Unexpected kindness

For work, I take my job seriously about providing opportunities to improve the health and well being of older adults in our community. My ideas can be considerably bigger than what we can accomplish but I'm always willing to accept a challenge.

My most recent project's logistics were a bugger to plan, coordinating so many people through so many details in so many places and at the last minute, it seemed like it was all going to fall apart but as I constantly reassure everyone, "it will all work out" and it did.

So while the plan looked good on paper and all the final details fell into place, we took off for our first of seven planned events.

What happened next caught me off guard and rather than appreciation for the work needed to bring this together, instead we dealt with considerable complaints that seemed to beleaguer us at each of the events.

Saturday was the last one and within the first three people who showed up, two of the participants let me know their considerable displeasure with me. My critical mistake? I asked one person their name before the other.

OK, it is my job to deal with these kind of issues, but I'm trying to set the stage for the fatigue I felt at that point. The events had required very early beginnings and rather than hearing positive responses, had dealt with a record number of complaints similar to the one above.

I have to admit that I was weary and ready to finally put this event to bed when the kindness of a stranger touched me in such a way that I must share.

We did Saturday's event in a public place that has its own traffic. I was at the front and mentally noting as each person came in, mainly as a way to determine if they were here for their usual Saturday morning activities or for mine.

One of the younger men that I had seen enter earlier came to my side and asked my name, as there was a gentleman in the restroom who was asking for me. At that point, I had three people talking to me at once, I'm mentally fatigued, but this pretty much jerked my brain to him as I brilliantly asked, "What?"

He repeated there was a man in the restroom that was asking for me.

I followed him with caution and he pushed the door open just enough for me to recognize a person who had come for my program. He was needing help that I could not provide no matter how hard I thought.

The young man who summoned me, offered instead to help and quickly left to go retrieve what this man needed. No questions asked. No thanks anticipated.

He just saw a need, quietly and discretely filled it.

When I tried to thank him, he quickly dismissed it and said he was glad to help.

I did not even get the man's name but he completely turned around my day.

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