Sunday, March 11, 2012

Take time to notice - take time to care.

Have you ever been in a lift when there is just one other person in it and find that there is that awkward silence while their eyes and yours are glued to the display which indicates the floor level that you are on?  To be in such close proximity to another person without conversing with them somehow seems impolite.  It is times like this when I ask the question, “How’s your day been?”  This question can lead to so many different responses from “Not bad thanks” to the extreme “My mother just passed away”, so you have to be prepared how to respond, no matter what the answer.  To the latter, while it is tempting to melt through the floor wishing all the time that you had never uttered those fateful words, the response is easy, “I’m so sorry to hear that” and then leave a silence providing them with an opportunity to speak if they feel inclined to do so. 

Being in the right frame of mind and having the emotional intelligence to be able to deal with this situation may be somewhat more difficult.  I believe that our own life experiences and how we deal with them play a very important part in being able to deal with situations like these.  Knowing what gestures, words and kindnesses helped when we experienced our own periods of sadness and grief can provide opportunities to assist and console family, friends or complete strangers during their times of sadness.  
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International Volunteer Managers Day 2013

As we approach another International Volunteer Managers Day (IVMD), I ponder the true meaning of the day.   The banners and posters on the...