It is always interesting to see how people across age groups deal with day to day challenges and figure out a way to move forward. Sharing some of my interactions that inspired me in the past few weeks!
During an interaction with a teenager who was getting low grades, her response astonished me! “When my friends are all going through health challenges and need someone to lean on, I do not see why my low grades on a few tests matter so much in the long run!”
A parent called to discuss about their middle school daughter who was having a meltdown as their grades were dipping from A+ to C. In a few minutes it was apparent that the parents and the daughter were having a meltdown.
Amazed by the difference in attitude and how different people perceive and give importance to different problems. It is all about what we deem as priorities in our lives.
Got to talk to a colleague and friend 70+ years old. We have been interacting virtually for most part in a very specific context. A call with her made me realize she has many grandchildren, has served as a Vice President in a bank for decades, served as teacher for decades, and continues to offer her services part time to many non-profit organizations. Her voice was full of life and filled with energy. What can I do next? How can I help? How can I contribute to something meaningful were her thoughts! Left me filled with energy!
Another 70+ grandparent has been stressed out playing the role of a support system to family members in need.
A 40-year old is going through severe health challenges and her family is very worried about her. A common friend discussed her details. Made me wonder how much physical & mental strength a woman needs to run a small business and how easily women tend to down-prioritize personal health compared to those around.
A 50-year old went through a painful surgery and amidst all the chaos in her life, felt happy that the tumor was non-malignant.
A 20-year old quits her full time job and wants to try something more meaningful than working at a Corporate. She looks for more meaning & purpose to her life.
A 30-year old struggles to balance life with family, work and relationships. The stress of being a perfect parent seems impossible to live up to, and what gives is their personal health.
Common threads across all their lives are that they feel their challenges are unique and no one can understand them.
Was humbling to converse with all of them, listen & share.
Sometimes irrespective of age, all we need is someone who listens to what we have to say / express, and hear us out. Not everyone is looking for a solution when they share. Being heard is a common thread across all age groups, that everyone thrives for.
If you get a chance, do make it a point to listen to someone – be they a student, or teacher, or bus driver, office colleague, family member, friends or relatives. It makes a difference to them and to you.