One of the biggest gifts you can give to any person is slowing down and really having a thoughtful, present conversation with them.
I was in Denver a few weeks ago with my parents who were in town for a short visit. It was really a pleasure to get to spend time with them since we haven’t been able to see each other as frequently these last couple of years due to travel restrictions.
After a tasty lunch, I had a couple of errands to run. I was heading into Voodoo Doughnuts to grab a box of their yummy, vegan treats to bring home as a surprise for my wife when a member of Denver’s houseless community inquired if I had any change I could spare for him.
I told him I’d get with him on the way out.
After grabbing doughnuts for Rach, I stopped to talk with Vernon a bit. We chatted about how he was doing if he had a place to stay that night what else was going on in his world (he had a job lined up and was waiting for that to start, his girlfriend was getting dialysis at the nearby hospital so he was looking forward to meeting up with her later that day, he was excited for the safe, comfortable place for them to stay to open up later that day as well). I then shook his hand, gave him some money for him to use as he needed, congratulated him for securing a place to rest his head, and wished him and his girlfriend well.
I was able to slow down and create time for Vernon from the perspective that I always have the ability to create all the time I need to do the things I want to do.
See, we often feel rushed and experience our time as limited. The truth is that we all have all the time we need to slow things down and be present in every moment.
It sometimes feels that we are rushed, that we are unable to take the time to fully BE. I have found that when I can just pause and take a beat, I can be fully present in THIS moment and share that with another person completely. Not considering the past or the future but being present now and sharing that snippet of time with another person without distraction.
When we can do this, it allows us to really see who is in front of us instead of rushing through to the next item on our list.
And that can be the biggest gift of all.