“Now, we are going to play a new game,” I explained to my granddaughters.
They were preteens sitting in the car with their Grammy waiting for Mom to get off work. Sometimes boredom calls for desperate measures. With little ones, we give them a different toy or picture or even our cell phones to occupy their time. The older kids are a bit of a challenge.
I pulled the game out of my imagination.
“We are going to find something nice about every person who walks by the car.”
We were sitting in front a strip of the mall housing the pharmacy, grocery, dollar store and liquor store. Quite a variety of people passed by. A good slice of humanity.
In retrospect, I wish I had been as conscious of my actions in raising my children. I was a mom who was dealing with a bad marriage, working and trying to stay afloat financially. In many ways, those years are a blur. They were hard times for me. I was not the best mom I could have been.
The beauty of grandchildren is that you take time to observe. You become more aware of yourself and those around you. You understand that life is short and very precious, so you’d better wake up and make a difference. When I did this ‘waking up’, I discovered the opportunities life had to offer. Those times when I could make a differences in each and every person I met just by passing on a kind word or a smile. Compassion goes a long way in creating a better world.
“I like her purse.” “I like his watch.” “Er, I lllliiikkkeee her, ah, eyes.”
Yes, sometimes the game was difficult. Humanity passed before our eyes. We saw it for what was on the outside and tried to look deeper for something that was positive and good in the inside. I had no idea how this game would work. When you are pulling randomly from your brain, you just hope it goes well.
This was just the beginning. We often waited for Mom. And, each time the girls asked to play the game. They picked out the parking place so we would be able to see as many people as possible. We watched life go by in front of the car and reached out with hope. We looked, truly looked, at these people. We looked past the dirt and shabbiness. We looked past color and race. We looked past the pain, sorrow, anger on their faces. It almost seemed that we looked deeper into those who needed to be seen and loved than we did those who seemed to have it all.
A lesson was learned. Kindness was taught. Compassion reigned. We grew closer in this challenge. Conversations occurred as we talked about the differences and struggles of man/womankind. Each of us hoped for the best for those people who passed this car of observers. We were in a bubble looking out with eyes that saw beauty instead of judgment. We sent out thoughts of love and well-being. We grew as we looked at the faces and untold stories. We sat in the car, the older generation and the younger, learning more about ourselves and learning to love.
Pamela Loxley Drake is a former resident of Darke County and is the author of Neff Road and A Grandparent Voice blog. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.