Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Tom

After moving in to the apartment building where we now live, I made the acquaintance of the person in the apartment directly opposite ours. He turned out to be an 80 year old man from Ballymena in Northern Ireland. He has lived by himself in this small apartment for some 30 years.
His apartment, as I first found it 3 years ago, had not seen any improvement in all that time.

My first impulse was to suggest a complete makeover. I soon realized that this was not on. Instead, I decided to suggest incremental changes. For example, he had a stove/oven on which only 1 of the 4 elements worked. I asked the management to replace it; they agreed but needed him to sign the request. This took 6 months on his part. Once he did, it was replaced within a few days.

Tom has taught me that you cannot suddenly burst into someone's life and ask them to change everything; if you value the person, you must respect their attitude toward change, even if these changes seem to you to reflect only "common sense". You cannot impose your own vision of life on someone else arbitrarily ; listen to them and take great care.
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3 Comments:

At 8:01 AM , Anonymous ingrid said...

You must really go on with writing dear cousin. Really nice to read and to look at your photograps.
And I think you are right, be carefull with other peoples mind. There is a lot to learn from others.

 
At 9:24 AM , Blogger ArtLife said...

Thanks, Ingrid.

 
At 7:47 PM , Blogger Jean said...

I am enjoying your photos and comments this quiet Sunday afternoon.

Being inspired by others who have embraced more of life than we help us to see the need for a change of heart and attitude about some things, and this can lead to a quieter hairstyle, painting the walls a different color, buying a new stove - or better, taking a good friend's advice to ask for one!

 

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