a few simple moments....
I remember standing on the train in my high heels, thinking
about how badly my feet might hurt later and wishing someone
would get off so I could sit down and delay the pain.
Doesn't anyone know how ruined my feet are from
walking through the streets of New York City? Please!!
I saw a woman walking through the train station, her crippled
feet dragging with each step.
She was dressed as though for work and carrying
what looked to be her lunch. In that moment I thought of how fortunate I was. That wearing
high heels is a choice for me. That each step I take is
not so much effort as it is for this woman. That the stuggle
that exists there is such a solemn burden.
asked for healing for her.
That she be given the strength to continue to endure
what she must in her life. That she be blessed for not giving in
to giving up. That
her life be filled with sunshine, even in the rain.
are blessings even in the simplest of offerings. I was on the A-train, headed back to Brooklyn from a day in
the City. The
trains were full so I ended up standing (again).
With each stop, more people got on the train.
Finally, the train came to a station where people
got off. As the seats were vacated, I headed toward
an empty spot, ready to get off my feet and rest. I arrived at the seat just as another
woman prepared to take the seat.
Seeing me she said "Oh, I'm sorry".
I told her to go ahead and take the seat. She insisted saying "It's OK, take it"...so I did.
asked that she be given the blessings she deserved for
offering the smallest of kindnesses to a complete stranger.
I think this woman was simply being the kind person
she is each day in her life. Never knowing how meaningful the little
acts of love she showers on others are.
day, I was on the train (always on the train!) and a man
stood to speak. I lightly rolled my eyes thinking....
here we go again.
Another speech by a panhandler looking for a handout. The man did not speak eloquently. He did not speak with confidence or intellegence.
His voice was meek, his words simple.
he passed me, I looked up and what I saw at once filled
me with such sadness, and such gratefulness. The man was
not clean. His
old and tattered clothing had not been washed in a very
long time. His body was ashen from the dust of the city,
his gait unsteady. His eyes were so hollow, the eyes of
a broken man. A
man resigned to a life of emptiness, never moving beyond
begging to survive, never again seeing the light he once
knew as a child full of hope.
man allowed me to feel my blessings.
I was in that instant so grateful that I had been
given so much and had never fallen to where this man now
lived each of his days. Looking at him, I knew how much fortune I had been given in
my life. That
I could speak with intellegence, had hope for the future,
knew where my next meal would come from, and had a warm
bed to fall into each night. I asked that this
man be given the power he needed in his life to see again. That he be given the peace he needed to
see with a new clarity.
That he feel real love again.
That he know real caring again.
day, is a opportunity to learn from our experiences. So often in this world we become trapped into thinking our
lessons will come from a middle-aged guy standing at a
podium in a prestigious auditorium.
the most valued of what we acquire in this life is gained
through the most unlikely of sources, and at the most
unexpected times. We have only to be open, to tear down the borders that are
often built around us from the time we are very young.
is a priceless gift, that we can give to ourselves. A gift that inevitably makes it easy for us to give to others.
of the best examples of this came to me a few years ago
while I was at a conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.
I was returning from my morning trip to the gym.
I entered the elevator and began a conversation
with a man there. It was very brief. We said hello, I said that it was nice
to have sunshine this day instead of the rain we had yesterday. The man looked at me and said, "Every
day above ground is a good day." and got off the
elevator on his floor.
did not know what the significance of his statement was
at that moment, but I knew I had just been given a gift.
It was much later that I realized that my lesson,
what I needed to learn about me from that 30 second ride
in an elevator with a stranger, was that I was complaining.
I never looked at it that way before, never realized it. But there it was. It was a huge lesson for my life. I became conscious of my complaints and
began to stop them before they developed.
I changed the words I used, the statements I made,
and in doing so, the way I thought about so much of life.
was unexpected, and it occurred in the most unlikely of
places. But it was huge for my life. And so it is...
the love. Always,
feel the love.
was born in Seattle, Washington, have lived in Germany,
California, Texas, and now call New York City home. I
have felt drawn to NYC since I was a child. Felt it was
where I belonged.
A couple years ago I decided it was time to be
this past summer, I resigned from my job of 14 years,
gave away most of what I own, and moved from Seattle to
New York City with two suitcases, no job, and no place
to live. And
now......I am in a place I can truly call home.
passions are writing, reading, theatre, live music, nature,
architecture, and a sincere love for people. I love anything
creative or done in excellence as well as the simplest
flight of a butterfly.
I hate to shop, love shoes, enjoy the exploration
of different cultures, and have a sinful lust for dark
chocolate cake (making the time I spend in the gym a very
good thing). I
see France in my future but am not sure what that means
for me yet.
my work life, I have done everything from driving forklifts,
to manging people, to working as a business analyst.
My thirst for knowledge always leads me to new
learning opportunities and this year I completed a program
in Technical Writing.
Work is what I do and not who I am. The important contributions we make in this life we make in
short.....this is me.
Grateful to be here, realizing what is important
in my life, and most importantly, living it every day.
© November 2002, Pamela Broussard, New York City