This weekend, I saw my daughter grow up. Seriously, one moment she was still “that kid”, and the next, she was young adult. It was a simple thing but it spoke volumes.
In my house, I am the vegetarian. I cook and prepare all kinds of foods I’ve never eaten, but for years, I have been the lone strict vegetarian. I have a few food items which I eat regularly always on hand. Any vegetarian will tell you that whenever they keep something prepared for them and them alone to enjoy, some meat eater will come along, look at the buffet of all the other items and somehow select that one thing that the vegetarian had set aside for themselves.
A few days ago, I was driving home wondering what I would eat, I remembered that I had a prepared dish that I could have and then I would go to sleep. My mind wrapped itself around that thought and I could taste it but when I got home I found that my dish was gone.
“Who ate my peas? “ I asked. My daughter smiled and said, “Sorry.” I gave her the mother look and was about to do what I’ve done in the past when all of my other kids did the same thing but I decided that yelling would just make me more tired and hungry, so I made a cup and readied myself for bed.
Quietly, I explained to my daughter that I had only a few items but she had plenty to choose from. Now, normally my daughter would get upset with herself and then with me. This is what children do; instead, she quietly got on her bike, rode to the grocery store and bought all of my favorite items.
She bought more peas, some soy milk, what she calls my old people cereal, more tea and my favorite mints.
Instead of thinking about how bad she felt, she took the role of the other and thought about how she may have made me feel.
This may seem like a simple thing, but it is huge. Together, we evolved in ways too great to measure.
I congratulated her on her milestone and had a hard time thinking of anything else.
The ability to think of the needs of others is the true sign of maturity. I could say much more, but I think I’ll just leave this for you to ponder:
Step outside of your ego, the need to feel bad about yourself when someone else is hurting and the desire to please only you. As you do, let your soul look back and see that you have made it over.
Be you, be well, BE
Bertice Berry, PhD.