08 August 2011

Learning to recognize others in our lives

Today, let’s do a little exercise.  Don’t worry, not a physical one! I want you to use your imagination.  Let’s pretend you are the driver of a car.  You can have three other people in your vehicle.  I want you to choose three names.  They can be friends, family, coworkers or relatives.  Got them? Good.  Now assign one to front passenger side, one behind you, and the other on the rear passenger side. Assigned your seats? Fantastic! Now let’s go for a cruise!

Choose your favourite highway, road, or street that you like to drive down.   However, while you are driving, you encounter severe weather conditions.  You drive the best you can but you lose control of your vehicle.  Your car glides off the road and rolls over.  Glass, metal, and plastic crunch together. You are left hanging upside down, held by your seatbelt.  Everything just begins to fade.

You regain consciousness at the hospital.  Lights glaring in your eyes.  You hear the medical instruments beeping away.

Just as you are able to hone your hearing to the voices in the room, you can hear them yelling directions to try and save the passenger that was on the front passengers side.  With all the skills and medical experience in the room, they are not able to save them from the accident.  What would you have talked about yesterday if you knew it was your last conversation with them?  Do you have guilt over something in the past that needs to be addressed? Do you wish you were kinder, nicer or gentler to them? What would you have done differently if you knew that it was your last day with them?

The individual behind you, you learn, is responsible for saving your life.  They were the one who got you safely out of the car and started performing CPR.  What would your feelings be like towards this person knowing that they saved you?  What kind of gift would you give them for this, or even in the future?  How do you think they would want to be treated after their heroics?  Would you thank them?

The individual who was on the back passenger-side did not succumb to the injuries of the accident, but they had amputations.  These amputations, however, will force the individual out of work.   Would you do anything special for this individual?  Would you assist them in their transition?  Do you feel guilty that you are all intact?

Fortunately, this is just an exercise and not reality.  The people in the car are okay.  But hopefully you have been able to feel something.  Is there someone you should go visit, apologize, or love better before they pass away from age or a terminal disease? Go talk to them.  Is there someone who has been a saviour in your life that you haven’t treated or given the proper respect to for what they have done and sacrificed for you? Go thank them.  Is there someone in your life that you may have hurt, intentionally or accidentally, in a mental, emotional or physical way that you have not taken responsibility for? Go and talk to them, and don’t delay.

If you feel inclined to reach out to someone else, do it.  Listen to your gut.  This life is a short one, make the best of it by being considerate to those around you.