Category Archives: empathy

still standing.

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The lighter penguin is an elderly female whose partner died this year. The darker one is a younger male who lost his partner two years ago. Biologists have followed them as they meet every night to comfort each other. They stand for hours together watching the lights in Melbourne. Photographer Tobias Baumgaertner captured this image of two widowed fairy penguins looking over the Melbourne skyline. It has won an award in Oceanographic magazine’s Ocean Photography Awards 2020.

“at the end of the day, the ones who really matter

will be the ones standing next to you watching the sun set

and assuring you that it will rise again in the morning.”

-ash sweeney

 

 

 

 

story credit: natureblowsmymind

wait.

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on a tired evening after a long day at school

i arrived for my hair appointment

already ready to be home

 a stylist new to me

was running late

quite a patient person by nature

i felt myself becoming impatient

really wanting to be done and home

and on and on about me

finally she was ready

 we took the elevator and headed upstairs

 thinking about waking up at 4:30 the next am.

   i sat down in her chair

sensing she had been through something

while she worked we began to talk about our lives

she shared things with me:

she can only work 3 days at a time and then needs 2 days off

due to a chronic illness that has affected her leg

(ah, the elevator)

she is one of eight children raised by a single mother

she was a very young mother years ago

she loves her daughter, granddaughter, and mother dearly

she is sharing rides with a co-worker as her car is not working

she doesn’t always have dinner or time for it

this was her last week at the salon

she needed some down time to recover

she would love to have her own little salon one day

she spoke of other joys and challenges in her life

determined not to give up and make the best of things

such a strong soul

 i felt ashamed for my impatience

happy i had waited and not expressed it

i had nothing to complain about

 she was an incredible person

still kind and happy

 still in the midst of overcoming hard things

i tried to offer encouraging words

wished her well

gave her a restaurant card i had in my wallet

 as we parted ways

i was reminded to always consider the other person

wait before reacting or rushing to judgement

we really have no idea what someone’s life is like

i thanked her

so very grateful for the lesson.

“let the first impulse pass, wait for the second.”

-baltasar gracian