Showing posts with label Cane. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cane. Show all posts

July 4, 2015

L@@king The Other Way

So recovering from surgery and with my cane in hand the last number of weeks, I've had a chance to see the worst and best of people. 

Especially on the Metro, I've had people who quite simply refused to let me sit down--can you say look the other way or ignorance is bliss?

One guy the other day saw me holding on to the overhead rail with one hand and the cane in the other, he looked me in the eye, and then looked back down again to work on whatever notes he was writing...certainly more important. 

And even early on a couple of times (this was when it was still hard to really stand up for long) when I asked for one of the special access seats from completely healthy people sitting there, I usually got the stone cold kvetchy faces like "You talking to me?"

At other times, waiting to get on the Metro, I've had people rush in front of me, try to push me aside, or even nearly trample me when they felt I just wasn't moving my limp leg fast enough. 

I think this has been particularly disheartening especially when I see this behavior coming from people of different faiths who were clearly observant at least in other ways...uh, don't we answer to an even higher authority?

When some empathic folks at work recently asked me, how people were treating me on the Metro (yes, they know how it is!), I said feeling frustrated one day that the only difference between DC and NY is that in NY there was probably a greater chance of someone trying to actually push me (G-d forbid) in front of an oncoming train--yeah, at times it seriously felt that way. 

I will say that thank G-d not everyone is such a you know what!

Although truly it's been the exception and not the rule, there have been some very nice people that did offer me a seat, let me go first, or didn't rush me on/off the moving escalator. 

One lady in particular was extraordinarily wonderful, and when I was crossing a very wide two-way street with lots of cars and the light was getting ready to change, she walked by my side--literally shielding me from the oncoming traffic, and she said "Don't worry, they won't hit both of us!"

I remember learning in yeshiva some very basics of human decency...get up before the aged, remove an obstacle from before a blind person, and to take off a heavy burden from even your enemy's stumbling animal.

I think these and other lessons in school and at home sensitized me to people's pain and suffering and where possible to try and help--not that I am a saint, I'm not, but at least I feel my conscience talks to me.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 20, 2012

That Special Cane

After seeing one of my colleagues with this souped-up cane at work this week, I learned that this is the special gift for someone reaching their 50th birthday.
This is not an ordinary bamboo cane as you can see, but one with a rear-view mirror for passing, a honking horn for warning people out of your path, and even a little green change purse for the toll. :-)
While I am no spring chicken anymore, I am still not old enough to receive my special cane--oh shucks!
But this did give me pause to think about what it means as we get older and the weeks and months at work turn into years and decades.
Before we know it, the up-hill climb of life, plateau and eventually heads in the other direction.
It reminds me of whenever someone asks my father how old he is...he flips the numbers--so for example, when he was 72, he would say I "turned" 27 and so on
It's not easy getting old(er), we all want to be back in our youth or prime of life, which my father calls the time period, "when the world is too small," and I think what he means is our aspirations are large.
This week at work, I learned that one of my colleagues who retired just a few years ago passed away from one of the horrible "C's" -- it was terrible to hear this.
Moreover, it reminded me of other colleagues who I have seen work hard their whole life, sacrificing and putting off all types of enjoyment, and waiting for that big day when they would retire and then they "could live the good life."
And one guy, I remember, did retire after putting in his time and within about 3 months, he dropped dead of a massive coronary--I don't think he even made it with heart beating to the hospital.
Life is too short! And of course, life is hard--that's how we are tested and grow--but we can't wait for the good times. We need to savor every moment of our lives, appreciate our loved ones , and enjoy what we do day-in and day-out.
Else, we may miss the finest times that we have here on earth and then we really will be left holding that special cane and looking back at our lives in the rear-view mirror wondering why we wasted so much precious, precious time.

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