A Year of Being Kind blog – Tuesday, March 4, 2014
An Act of Service and a New(ish) Friend
My son took special care in getting dressed this morning. He had his first gymnastics meet today, and the whole team dressed up for the occasion. So, dress slacks, oxford shirt, dress shoes, tie. He was so proud to be all spiffed up! (I know—I saw him looking at his reflection in the mirror after tying his tie.) And even though he didn’t say so, I suspect he was excited for the meet.
I dropped him off at the high school on my way to the YMCA. He stood on the sidewalk, and was all smiles as I waved to him. He disappeared from my rear view mirror as I carefully threaded my way between the students and staff crossing the street. Yes, it was just another weekday morning, with just a slight variation.
As I’ve said before, I go to the gym several times a week. Today was one of those days. The Y is a familiar place, now. I’ve been there pretty much three times per week for the past five years. I don’t know most people’s names, but they often come to the gym about the same time. Being a naturally friendly person, I smile and sometimes say hello. This morning, I kept passing by people I recognized—so I was saying “hi” a lot. As I went up to the track, I ran into a recent gym acquaintance. We did a few circuits around the track after I did some preliminary stretching.
My friend is a little older. A senior, and a moderately active one. My friend started telling me about the challenges of being a senior citizen—in an upbeat, uncomplaining way. Even humorous, at times. I listened, interested to hear about my friend’s viewpoints. But I also listened to some sadder stories. I heard about a few senior friends, who are not as physically active. For seniors, this can be very problematic. It’s circular. As people—and especially seniors—decrease in their activity level, they usually decrease in stamina and strength. Which makes many even less willing to be active at all.
My mind shifted, remembering an older relative, now deceased. She broke her ankle a number of years ago, and the orthopedic surgeon needed to place several pieces of hardware into the joint. However, she was stubborn. She wouldn’t do physical therapy after surgery. It didn’t take too long for her to become more and more sedentary, which caused her to dislike physical activity more and more. Just like the other seniors I heard about today—decreasing in activity, stamina and strength, in a downward spiral.
What was my act of kindness today? I kept my friend company—and we went around the track together. I encouraged my friend in being physically active today, too. I gladly affirmed my senior friend for doing whatever they can, regularly, to the best of their ability. I delivered this act of service with enthusiasm! God, thanks for my friend. And, thanks for sending me a new service opportunity, today and every day.
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