One thing I have always been very good at is drawing unwanted attention. Somehow I seem approachable, even though I always have books to read and thoughts to think. Then I remember that this is a human being, and give them my attention, even though my initial response was a more curdled humanity.
That is generally what gets me ashamed, is finding that this is a good and often beaten down person, and they should be meeting far more kindness in the world than they are.
The thing I noticed most recently is how apologetic they tend to be. In my most recent encounter, she kept prefacing each question with a mumbled "I'm sorry." The averted eyes and downcast head were already a hint that she did not expect to be valued.
There are three specific people that I am thinking of. They were all times when I had meant to be reading, but then they were kind and often interesting people. Spiritually they are my siblings. Maybe there are ways we could help each other.
It goes along with the other things that we have been posting this week. We are not valuing people enough. It's worse if you are old and poor, even if you have served your country and your health still suffers from it, or you have worked all of your life, or you have tried really hard to be a good person and stand up for fairness.
I think of it for them, because in those moments on Tri-Met I have seen their worth and cared about them, but I also think about my mother. Is it obvious how fiercely protective I am of her? But I can't protect her from everything. It would be good to believe there were fewer threats.
And I think about it for me. I am on track to be old and alone. This current state of being childless and also without nieces and nephews is likely to continue. I will continue to age, and remaining poor seems more probable than not. Will my goodness matter then? Will there be respect for my age? I don't know; I just want to see a kinder world.
That being said, you are lucky if you get to talk to me. I both speak and listen well. Pure delight.