This blog set the question: Are You the Hundredth Monkey?

Comments to the initial post "What's Up With That?" give wonderful examples of what that might look like.

The New Year has begun. The Hundredth Monkey has abundant opportunity to be be make a difference - any difference that makes the world brighter, holier, more sane.

What does that look like for you?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Hundredth Monkey in Wal-Mart

Perhaps you too have a story to share...a story that can help others see for themselves what it is to make that one simple shift ...

The Wal-Mart Occurrence

A True Story Nov 20, 2009 by Nancy L Wolf

As always I am in a race against time.. Squeezing in my “ things to do” in the time frame of when the aides are here and when do I have to be back home and all that stuff. I knew Wal-Mart would be busy but had to get a few things including a Rx, so I raced over and did my thing.

I always go in the garden entrance as its less chaotic parking and less crowded.

So with 15 minutes to spare I get in a short line (only 3 of us) and figure things will be okay. Then I see the lady next in line and her cart is overflowing to the brim with a mountain of items and thinking oh boy this is going to take forever. The line behind me starts to fill up and everyone is complaining and moaning over how they have to wait and how you are not supposed to have that much stuff in that garden section etc etc.

I was starting to get annoyed, but something inside me (my yoga teaching mostly) said to myself” who knows what is going on with her? Why does she have so much? Maybe she has no other time to come, or lots of things, so I slowed my mind down and just observed. As she hurriedly put her mountain of articles on the small space I saw she had a companion who was coming and getting the bags as they were full and taking them out to the car. I observed they both looked very somber and nervous. I finally could see half way down her basket and saw all the Xmas stuff and she had also purchased a pre lit tree that she needed help getting to the car.

By now the people behind me were in a fit.. Saying things out loud and leaving.. Cursing life and turning red. I thought ” I am not going to freak out. Something here is just not right …" but then I had to be home for my husband on hospice so I was a little worried about the time.

Suddenly she turned around when she heard someone’s comment and looked so upset. She then came over to me and the lady behind me..I had been talking to the lady behind me and saying I needed to get out on time as my husband was on hospice and she said "go in front of me don’t worry…" so there we were chatting and this stranger comes over to us… leaving her pile of items… and puts her hands to her face and says ”I’m so sorry.. I have to get all of this to the house right away.. My husband is on hospice and he is dying" (my legs got weak and my mouth dry) I couldn’t say the words as tears were streaming down my cheeks. The lady next to me looked at her and said ”so is her husband” we both just looked at each other and time stood still. All I could picture was her racing home to try and set everything up for him so he could ”see Xmas “ before he passes. She looked at me and then she took my hands. No words exchanged… just tears.

Suddenly the line got very was like no one else was there… just me and this stranger both sharing this deep sadness at this time of year and understanding each other. She had to be around 75? But there was no age in that moment. She finally went back to her stuff and paid. And then she turned back to look at me one last time. I opened up my arms to her as a signal... and she came over. We stood and hugged each other for what seemed a long time… both of us crying… and then she left and I was up next.

Fighting back the tears… all I could think was of all the uptight people who had been so impatient and I was beginning to be like that… but I am so grateful I stopped myself and calmed and centered myself and observed.

You just never know why people do what they do… take time to observe and time to be grateful for those busy lives you have.. I will never forget that event… Be ever so grateful, not just at Xmas but always. For your lives and if you have the luxury of being able to not live you life in segments of time, and if your family and yourself is healthy… then next time you have to wait… remember this true story that happened to me this November of 2009.
Peace, Nan

"Lately it occurs to me... what a long strange trip it's been!"

1 comment:

  1. No matter where we are, we are not alone, although it seems that way sometimes. What a stunning story Nan.

    I think we so often forget how emotions are contagious and how we have the opportunity to spread the good ones as well as the not so good ones.

    I too take the pose of the yoga teacher - one of curiousity rather than judgment. It wasn't always that way. Quick to comment and the judge I was often upsetting myself and igniting others. No longer. Too many long lines, too many nights in airports, too much adrenaline and quite a bit of study later, I stop and think "I wonder.."

    But for the grace of God go we. Merry Christmas to both of you, your husbands and what perhaps was their last glimpse of the star on the tree.

    Many many blessings,