Taking the Time...

Thursday, June 11, 2015

I go to the gym at the same time pretty much every morning.  When you go to the same place, at the same time every day, you begin to see other "regulars."  There is an older gentleman who is always working out at the same time I am at the gym.  I would say he works about for about half the time and spends the other half of his workout time, making the rounds, chatting with people :)  I am a big people watcher (and maybe sometimes stare at people- I KNOW- so rude) and I have seen many different reactions when this gentleman strikes up a conversation with others.  Some people are genuine and chat it up with him.  Unfortunately, most people I have seen, appear annoyed and just kind of nod and do their best to the leave the conversation, albeit politely, but quickly.  I have had several conversations with this man and I have to admit, that I am not always excited to talk to him when he approaches me, because I only have a limited time I can workout with my kiddos being in the daycare.  However, I ALWAYS tell myself: "treat him how you would want to be treated" and we end up always having a good chat.

Yesterday morning, as I walked into the gym, I saw him working out on a weight machine and another younger man approached him and said, "By the way, thank you for your service."  I am assuming this man had a conversation with the older gentleman about his time in the Navy (I know he was in the Navy because he has told me:).  The younger man not only took the time to listen to him, but he came up to him AGAIN to convey his respect and gratitude.  It made my heart swell and I wanted to give that guy a big hug.

I am particularly sensitive to this particular situation because someone in my life who I am very, very close to has extreme difficulty communicating, but he still is a person who wants to talk and engage with other people.  I, sadly, have witnessed him, on multiple occasions, be brushed off and treated like he didn't really have anything to say because he is very hard to understand.  The truth is, his cognitive abilities are very much intact and he knows exactly what he wants to say! 

Here is the deal.  We are ALL busy.  We all have A LOT going on.  So, yes- is it inconvenient when you are trying to check out at the grocery store after a long day at work, trying to make it home in time to make dinner, and the person behind you wants to tell you about their grandson?  Or is it totally frustrating when your kids are freaking out as you are walking out of a store or maybe you are leaving church, and someone wants to tell you about when they had kids?  Yes it is.  BUT- unless your house is burning down or your baby is choking, can you spare 5 minutes?  Like really talk to that person and listen to them?  

We are living in a society where our heads are always down looking at our phones, always in a rush to get to the next place.  
We have forgotten people matter!
EVERYONE has a story.  
 EVERYONE matters.  

Hoping today, if you are afforded the opportunity, you can take the time and let someone know they matter!

Linking up with Natalie and Annie today!


  1. What a good reminder, Justine! Yesterday I was on a packed train at rush hour and there was a guy who seemed to have some sort of social issue....anyways, he was chatting up a storm to everyone and people just stared at their feet to avoid him. Unfortunately, in these situations, usually the only person we think about is ourselves, when in reality we should think of others. Thanks for the positive post!

  2. I LOVE THIS!!!!!!! I often find myself rushing around, being angry because someone is moving slowly in front of me or whatever and then I stop and regroup and rethink the situation. It's so true. We've lost the human to human contact in todays society. I couldn't agree with this post more. There is a homeless gentleman who hangs out at a convenience store near my house and he says hi to everyone and typically no one even acknowledges him. I always say hello back and usually tell him to enjoy his day or some type of small talk. And one time he was trying to buy a muffin in front of me with loose change, and while he did, and completed his transaction, I just felt so bad for him. I didn't want to offer to pay in case it insulted him, but I just felt so awful about it all. So I headed to the ATM afterwards and upon leaving handed him $10 and told him to have a blessed evening. He smiled with tears in his eyes and thanked me several times. I cried when I got into my car because of how much I felt that I took for granted. I now make a point to acknowledge people and have conversations with those who randomly strike them up. And help others who look like they may need it, but might not want to ask...... sorry for the mile long comment... I just relate to this so much!!

    1. Don't be sorry for your mile long comment! :) I am so happy to know you can relate!! And I think the story you shared of just paying attention to the homeless man and blessing him with some money was so wonderful!! I think we forget that just because someone does live like us or "look" like us that they might not be worth our time...but SO not the case! You have a sweet sensitive heart!

  3. Oh friend, paragraph 3 had me crying. Thanks for such a lovely post. Great way to start my afternoon running errands!

  4. Thank you for writing this post! I really needed to read this. I work outside the home all day and I am ALWAYS in a rush! I no that I brush people off and your post made me realize that I really need to slow down and make an effort to smile and engage more. Stopping for just a few minutes to talk to someone or evening giving them a genuine smile can really brighten someone's day!

    1. Hi Jenny!! Thanks for stopping by and commenting! We are ALL in a is not just you :) I know for myself, that when I take the time to talk and engage with other people, I usually always end up feeling energized and refreshed, and possibly even a got a good laugh. Interacting with other people and showing kindness is good for the spirit! :)

  5. This is a beautiful story and a very important reminder to me to slooooow down and appreciate the good stuff in life. You are a gem! This is such a good reflection of your sweet spirit. :)


I love hearing from you! Let's keep it nice though...ain't nobody got time for anything else!