Saturday, May 6, 2023

Undying Roles

Tributes.  Condolences.  Memories.  Undying respect, admiration and love.  These were the words and sentiments that swirled around us as we learned of the death of our elementary school principal.  She was one of those positive forces in the world who encouraged, challenged, and inspired us to become better people.  Her role as teacher and principal transitioned as we graduated and set out on further education, made career choices, raised families, and became global citizens.  She became our mentor and friend -- always present and ready to listen... until she wasn't.

I have been thinking about roles and responsibilities this week:

  • What we take on;
  • How we inspire and encourage; and,
  • The impact we have on others.

Who is at the center of your life?
(Photo: Flower Arrangement - Larry Gardepie)

Life presents challenges.  Sister Barbara demonstrated how to accept, smile, and look for the positive.  Even this last year when she was battling health issues, she planned for the future -- an alumni reunion in September.
Choice was a word used often with her:  we can choose how to respond to the back-ups in life; we can take the road less traveled; we can set out and explore new ways of being present.

Which is a better choice for you?
(Photo:  Traffic Jam in Victoria,
British Columbia - Larry Gardepie)

Though busy and working into her late 80s, she had time to sit and listen.  What a gift:  to have someone listen to you, ask questions, and help clarify the choices!  Perspectives changed as we shared what was happening or on our minds:  what was burdensome and tiresome was transformed; life became reinvigorated; energy was found to climb to the mountaintop -- we wanted to see beyond what was happening now.
Having a mentor-friend and being a mentor-friend to others are two different roles:  both are important; both respect the infinite loop of giving-and-taking.  We become the ones wanting to listen and ask questions.

Do you have time to sit and listen?
(Photo: Park Bench near Empress Hotel,
British Columbia - Larry Gardepie)

Dialogue asks that we understand our impact on a situation:  how our role as parent or sibling, lover or friend, supervisor or co-worker, spiritual advisor or mentor affects what is said or perceived.  Dialogue also invites us to sit on that park bench... with Beauty Surrounding... waiting for someone to sit with us... listening, asking questions, and influencing one another with time and Sacred Presence!

Do you have time to sit and listen?  As Sister Barbara would say, "You have a choice!"

Thank you to all of the Mothers and Sisters who have nurtured, inspired, and challenged us.  Your roles are important!  Happy Mother's Day (next Sunday)!


Larry Gardepie

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