I was out doing some grocery shopping yesterday at the supermarket when I suddenly stopped in my tracks.
A well-dressed young woman in her late 30’s was standing on the pavement tapping her foot impatiently. She was looking so irritated that I turned around to see what was bothering her.
But before I could take in the whole scene I heard her say impatiently “Come on Mom!”
“Mom” was obviously holding her up. For a moment curiosity got the better of me and I looked down the road to see what on earth she could be doing.
Well there she was; a little old lady bent double over her walking frame while battling to go a little faster. But she was about 20 yards behind her daughter and she was obviously struggling to make up the distance.
I could see the strain in her face and I turned away and went on with my business. But the picture remained etched on my mind the whole day.
What had the relationship between mother and daughter been like all those years back? Had the mother been impatient with her daughter to have inculcated this type of response so much later? Was the daughter justified? Was it pay back time?
Or was it simply the impatience of our modern-day lifestyle where people are too busy to notice? Or was it just about a mother who like many others has become a burden in her old age?
Is it ever simple?
I’m sure the daughter wasn’t a bad person. After all, she had taken her mother out with her. And maybe she would have been upset if I had pointed out to her what I had just witnessed. But I didn’t because it wasn’t my affair.
It was just that as an onlooker I could see the fragile relationship between them so clearly.
What type of errand in the supermarket was so urgent that it couldn’t wait a few minutes longer?
Was a shopping cart of groceries more important than the feelings of a handicapped mother?
All this took no longer than 20 seconds. But it continues to vibrate the strings of my emotional equilibrium. And now that you know about it too, I suspect that a few of your strings may be vibrating too.
And that is because we are all connected through our emotions. And our relationships will always have repercussions that are both known and unknown to us.
This was a simple scenario but it carries an important message.
Because it has given me cause to pause in my busy routine for just a moment to ask a question: Are we losing our sensitivity in the rush of our every-day lives?