One of the Golden Rules which, for me, has always remained sacrosanct is “Treat others as you would want them to treat you.” Harking back to my mom, as I am always wont to do it seems, calls forth images of others helping her.
As a young child I witnessed my mom begging others for…more time to pay her car note, even while they continued to perform services and repairs…mercy for errant brothers who had committed petty theft…medical services for which she had no money to pay.
I was sensitive to the gratitude and humility with which my mom accepted…second-hand clothing refused by the orphans at the orphanage where she worked…leftover food from the nuns who employed her…random offerings from friends and neighbors.
At my mother’s knee, I learned that I am no better than anyone else. And so in my daily dealings with…waiters, drycleaning assistants, store clerks, bank tellers, receptionists, grocery cashiers, box office attendants, vet assistants…I offer smiles, compliments, empathy, and gratitude, always gratitude.
If I can lift someone’s spirits, calm their nerves, even make their day with a heartfelt compliment…such as “You’re so beautiful!”…then why hesitate to do so? I am beyond embarrassment, it seems, when it means I can make someone feel better…whether she or he needs the boost or not. And hugs…no one escapes a huge hug.
Enveloping someone within my warm embrace is another of my own mom’s legacies to me. There is no more profound offering of one’s self than to press another to one’s own heart, letting them know that we are kindred spirits beneath the outer trappings of…age, gender, ethnicity, social class, sexual preference, and religious and political affiliation. It is true that…goodness and kindness…beget…goodness and kindness. But I never set out to beget…anything.
Hugging, and all it entails, is as natural to me…as breathing in…and breathing out. And I owe my lessons in the art of…to all those who gave of themselves to my mom…and what she gave…in return.
…hugging you………hugmamma. 🙂