The Unwanted Gift of a New Chair

Be present to other people as they are, not as you want them to be.

BRUCE T. MARSHALL

As a chaplain in a senior residence community, I see many well-intentioned efforts at helping that come up short or fail outright. Just about all of these can be attributed to the same cause: failing to take into account the person we are trying to help. We let our own needs and desires drive us rather than paying attention to the other.

Roger M., a retired attorney in his early 90s, told a story that had a group of his contemporaries convulsed in the kind of laughter that comes from recognizing a situation as both ridiculous and true. Many of them, it seems, had similar experiences. This man’s story concerned a chair. He had an easy chair where he sat to watch television, read, work on a crossword puzzle, or sometimes just be. He and his chair had been companions for a long time, and over the years it had adjusted to his body. So the two of them—man and chair—fit amicably together. Admittedly, the chair was showing its years, looking shabby, and it wasn’t all that clean anymore. Nevertheless, Roger loved his chair. READ MORE HERE.

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