Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

Reader comment on Brene Brown's passage ...

Vulnerability is the Path

On Apr 6, 2016 luv4all wrote:

This act of kindness, back from 2011 is appropriate on this topic, hence sharing:

There is a mentally retarded person who keeps standing near my office from 1-2 months. He is in rugged, torn clothes, v dirty. He has lost his mind and  hence i was a little scared to help him initially.

One day, I saw him searching dustbin and picking out a coke bottle, he was thirsty. I felt sad, disliked the scene and bought him a coke. He looked at me for a moment, a deep stare and then accepted it.

After that I noticed him many times. I realised that he has become childlike, doesnt know what to do, keeps standing here and there making movements or faces like a small kid. Sometimes i choose to ignore him, for several reasons as i visit the place almost every other day, and as he has lost his brain, i dont want any incidence to happen, neither do i want him to ask me for food everyday. There are few colleagues around too.

However, I did oserve him few days and I find him innocent and suffering, I felt one with him. If i dont have money tomorrow or lose my head, people would treat me similarly, how scary. It brings a tear in my eye. He needs someone to take him home, wash him, give him food and a lot of love. He should be fine may be or may be not but he needs someone to take care day on day.

So another day, when i felt bad, i purchased him another coke, he again observed me and accepted it. He acknowledged me by giving a short deep look. I felt so good by his reaction.

Today, when i went for tea my mad friend was roaming around. He has started recognising me and gives me a look as if saying 'this is someone nice' when i pass by him. He went past me 2-3 times and was just playing with his hands. It was little cold today and i thought he needed tea as well. While going back i couldnt stop myself from going and asking him for tea. I dont know which language he understands but surely the language of care, he does. He nodded. I called him and pointed to a spot and asked him to quietly stand there. Like an obeidient child he sat exactly at that point. How innocent and vulnerable. He kept waiting for 2-3 min without any fuss or moving around. I could see the trust he had how wonderful. I have been scared when i can protect myself, atleast try to. He trusts me blindly when he cannot even understand if i cheat or harm him.

I gave him tea and a small snack. He took it and started eating like a kid.

I had come to the tea stall a little disturbed due to some work related tension, i went back feeling calm and peaceful. He gave me respect and trust though he is totally vulnerable. He expressed gratitude in his own way though he cannot even express his own needs. I cry as I write this and think about him and his condition, yet that small moment was so powerful for both of us. He was accepted and cared for as a human being and I was treated like 'God' by this person who people call mad.

What a b'ful communication God has made beyond language, words and mind; just the ability to give and accept love and gratitude.

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