- Nancy Spear
“… she opened the front passenger door, and got in…”
Several months ago, I was interviewed at a business networking meeting. I was asked, “What has given you the disposition to be so patient?”
I wasn’t expecting that question but my answer came immediately. “I grew up watching my mother and her three sisters take care of the older adults in the family. They were always patient and respectful. They have all been part of my life; we take care of each other. That’s the example I was given.”
I thought about it later. I remember my mom picking my brother and me up as we got out of Sunday school. He and I slid into the back seat of our blue Buick Skylark as an older woman opened the front passenger door, got in, and asked my mom if she’d give her a ride home, “It’s only a few blocks away,” she said. My mother said okay, partly because the woman was already in the car but also because that was how she was raised.
So that was my answer. And that’s also why I was pleased, but not surprised, when a client put her hand on my arm and said, “Thank you for always answering my questions like I’ve never asked them before.”
This holiday season, be patient with the older adults in your family. If your Great Uncle Frank asks you how to text, show him, one step at a time. Then text him back…and tell him you like his tie. If your Aunt Rita is sitting alone, go sit next to her and ask how she’s feeling. And if one of them needs a ride home, open up the passenger door and drive them home.
P.S. Thank you to my mom and my aunts (who are all reading this right now) for being such good role models. Who’s crying now?