Tag Archives: understanding

The Crabby Old Lady

When an old lady died in the geriatric ward of a small hospital near Dundee, Scotland, it was believed that she had nothing left of any value.

Later, when the nurses were going through her meager possessions, they found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital. One nurse took her copy to Ireland.

The old lady’s sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas edition of the News Magazine of the North Ireland Association for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on her simple, but eloquent, poem. And this little old Scottish lady, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this “anonymous” poem winging across the Internet

Crabby Old woman
What do you see, nurses?
What do you see?
What are you thinking
When you’re looking at me?

A crabby old woman,
Not very wise,
Uncertain of habit,
With faraway eyes?

Who dribbles her food
And makes no reply
When you say in a loud voice,
“I do wish you’d try!”

Who seems not to notice
The things that you do,
And forever is losing
A stocking or shoe?

Who, resisting or not,
Let’s you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding,
The long day to fill?

Is that what you’re thinking?
Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse,
You’re not looking at me.

I’ll tell you who I am
As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding,
As I eat at your will.

I’m a small child of ten
With a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters,
Who love one another.

A young girl of sixteen
With wings on her feet
Dreaming that soon now
A lover she’ll meet.

A bride soon at twenty,

My heart gives a leap,

Remembering the vows

That I promised to keep.

At twenty-five now,

I have young of my own,

Who need me to guide

And a secure happy home.

A woman of thirty,

My young now grown fast,

Bound to each other

With ties that should last.

At forty, my young sons

Have grown and are gone,

But man’s beside me

To see I don’t moan.

At fifty once more,

Babies play round my knee,

Again we know children

My loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me,

My husband is dead,
I look at the future,
I shudder with dread.

For my young are all rearing
Young of their own,
And I think of the years
And the love that I’ve known.

I’m now an old woman
And nature is cruel;
‘Tis jest to make old age
Look like a fool.

The body, it crumbles,
Grace and vigor depart,
There is now a stone
Where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass
A young girl still dwells,
And now and again,
My battered heart swells.

I remember the joys,
I remember the pain,
And I’m loving and living
Life over again.

I think of the years
All too few, gone too fast,
And accept the stark fact
That nothing can last.

So open your eyes, people,
Open and see,
Not a crabby old woman;
Look closer . . . see ME!!

=========================================================

Remember this poem when you next meet an older person who you might
brush aside without looking at the young soul within . . we will all,
one day, be there, too! In fact it might be me.

The birth of the empathetic Jesus

Christmas crecheMultitudes cry, does anyone understand how I feel? Sadly, when I was younger, I didn’t have a lot of empathy for those who hobbled around using canes. I wasn’t unkind. I just couldn’t relate. I walked fast, hiked, and climbed hills with verve. Aging has changed my perspective. Now I’m the one who hobbles around, sometimes using a walking stick—I still can’t call it a cane. My knees are shot. One knee has already been replaced.

Christmas, the coming of the Son of God as a baby in a manger, is about God expressing empathy for our human condition enough to live 33 years among us. DSCN1493“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet without sin”(Heb.4:15). “Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted”(Heb.2:18).

All of us find it difficult to understand those in situations that we haven’t experienced. I remember a conversation in which a friend talked about their antipathy towards cities, Toronto in particular. Personally, Mary Helen and I love both the countryside and the small town in which we currently live. But we also love to immeCobourg Colourrse ourselves in the multi-ethnic nature of Toronto. Hearing different languages, seeing different races— to us this is a taste of what heaven will be like. We can even understand why many prefer the convenience of city life with its transit, sh
opping and proximity to great museums, art galleries, and concert halls.

What of people from other cultures? In today’s climate many have no sympathy for Muslims. With ISIS in the news, we can understand people’s antagonism. Fortunately, we’ve had happier experiences among them. Mary Helen and I, having lived 16 years in an overwhelmingly Muslim country, have more empathy. ???????????????????????????????Most Muslims—the Taliban and their ilk excluded—long for the same things we do: education for their children, economic security, basic human freedoms, and a safe place to live. Let me assure you that most Muslims are as appalled as you and I by the unbelievable barbarity of ISIS and suicide bombers.

It’s human to react, express puzzlement or disapproval of something or someone we don’t understand. For example, few of us understand the conditions under which our aboriginal people live because we haven’t walked a mile in their moccasins. But DSCN1507God understands.

At Christmas God sent His Son among us to save us from our sins, but also to express empathy with our human condition. “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. Who, being in very nature God…made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness…became obedient to death—even death on a cross”(Phil. 2:4-8)!

So as we read the Christmas story, let’s remind ourselves of the lengths Christ went to so he could empathize with our condition. AndDSCN1496 let’s express a lot more understanding of others—especially as we welcome refugees like Jesus, whose parents fled as refugees to Egypt from the barbarity of Herod.

Have a Christmas full of empathy and understanding!

(Further articles, books, and stories at: http://www.countrywindow.ca Facebook: Eric E Wright Twitter: @EricEWright1 LinkedIn: Eric Wright )

Christmas means, God can empathize

Sadly, when I was younger, I didn’t have a lot of understanding for those who hobbled around using canes. I wasn’t unkind. I just couldn’t relate. I walked fast, hiked, and climbed hills with verve. Aging has changed my perspeWalking stickctive. Now I’m the one who hobbles around using a walking stick—I still can’t call it a cane. My knees are shot. Replacement surgery is on the horizon.

Christmas, the coming of the Son of God as a baby in a manger, is about God expressing empathy for our human condition enough to live 33 years among us. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet without sin”(Heb.4:15). “Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted”(Heb.2:18).

Winterloghm, croppedAll of us find it difficult to understand those in situations that we haven’t experienced. In a recent conversation, someone talked about their antipathy towards cities, Toronto in particular. Personally, Mary Helen and I love living in the countryside. But we also love to immerse ourselves in the multi-ethnic nature of Toronto. Hearing different languages, seeing different races— to us is a taste of what heaven will be like. We can even understand why many prefer the convenience of city life with its transit, shopping and proximity to great museums, art galleries, and concert halls.

On the other hand we understand why many love country living with its fields and wild turkeys and big skies and wonderful woodlands. We’ve been there. Of course, not everyone loves the woodlands. I’ve heard of one man who said, “If you’ve seen one tree you’ve seen them all.” What? Oaks and pines and ironwood and poplar and…?

During the same recent conversation mentioned earlier, one person said he had ???????????????????????????????no sympathy for Muslims. We can understand why Muslims antagonize people in today’s climate. Fortunately, we’ve had happier experiences among them. Mary Helen and I, having lived 16 years in an overwhelmingly Muslim country, have more empathy. Most Muslims—the Taliban excluded—long for the same things we do: education for their children, economic security, basic human freedoms, and a safe place to live.

It’s human to react, express puzzlement or disapproval of something or someone we don’t understand. Few of us understand the conditions under which our native people live because we haven’t walked a mile in their moccasins.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAt Christmas God sent His Son among us to save us from our sins, but also to express empathy with our human condition. “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. Who, being in very nature God…made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness…became obedient to death—even death on a cross”(Phil. 2:4-8)!

So as we read the Christmas story, let’s remind ourselves of the lengths Christ went to so he could empathize with our condition. And let’s express a lot more understanding of others.