I sat in a chair at the mall today across from the chair shown here in this picture. I hadn’t been to the mall in a long time. I grew up going to this mall. Both my wife and I logged a lot of hours working at that mall.
When I first sat down, this seat was filled by an elderly man. I would say he was in his 80’s. He was a sweet man who even oddly enough had a name tag on. He sat there with a quiet confidence as he watched mall goers come and go as they briskly walked past his chair.
When his family came back to check on him, he flashed a smile and let out a laugh that immediately made me feel just plain good. When they arrived, everything else stopped. They were his world.
He hadn’t a care in the world is what his demeanor said to me as I sat there inspired.
I never had a grandfather, but if I did, I think this man would be perfect.
I sat their pondering as I stared intently at the empty chair that was now in front of me. What I saw at either side of the chair were the constant passing by of mall goers, many of them appeared to have all the cares of the world upon their shoulders. I can’t describe it. I just saw it, I felt it, and I recognized it. I recognized it as something I knew too well about myself.
- Just want to belong
- Feel unloved
- Fear abandonment
- Need approval
- The list goes on
Sure, most of these were teenagers, but then most of them were not. Frankly, it was simply humanity. I could write this off as many would with “that’s just the way they are, they cycle through it.” But for me right then and there… it all seemed so much more heavy than just something that cycles through.
I guess, I saw a lot me walking by.
The whole experience caused me to tweet this from my seat:
“My heart hurts for the low self esteem among us. People need to know they matter. I cry for those who don’t.”
Next, a young girl, maybe 8 sits down in the chair as he mom sits in the chair next to her. The young girl appeared to be fighting cancer as she sat their with no hair. She sat their with a quiet confidence as she went about herself focusing on some object in a small package in her hands as the mall goers came and went as they briskly walked by her chair. Whatever was in the package was her world.
Her mom’s mentions the possibility of movies tonight. She says yes.
She hadn’t a care in the world is what her demeanor said to me as I sat there inspired.
What can I learn from these two people who sat in this chair before me? Certainly, I don’t know their stories and all of their circumstances. But the fact is, we all face circumstances.
I guess for me I see this whole experience through optics of what I myself have experienced a whole lot of lately.
What can I learn from these two people who sat in this chair before me?
Perhaps for me, the lesson is this…
As I considering the meaning of LIVING, I ponder, what if they who sat in that chair went home tonight and wrote something about what they had observed in me. What would they say? What would they see?
Chances are, what they would have seen in me is what everyone else feels in me within the wake I leave behind my every step.
For the two who sat in the chair, they made me smile. As for them, I can only hope.