Working in a care home actually doesn't make me sad at all. It doesn't depress me in the slightest. It is just totally awakening and interesting. And positive. It is amazing how comparable these beings are to babies. Babies pee and poo their pants. Babies' consciousness is not yet developped, this is why we have to be tolerant to what they may do "wrong". Babies babble. Babies go to bed early and sleep a lot. Babies need to be fed. Babies can't walk and need to be carried, or pushed in prams. Babies don't do much, they are. Babies are cute. "Dying beings" pee and poo their pants. "Dying beings" consciousness is no longer developped, this is why we have to be tolerant to what they may do "wrong". Some "Dying beings" sort of babble or talk nonsense. "Dying beings" go to bed early and sleep a lot. "Dying beings" need to be fed. "Dying beings" can't walk and need to be carried, or pushed in wheelchairs. "Dying beings" don't do much, they are. Yes, and now I think "dying beings" are cute, too.
Babies are at the beginning of their life cycle, the one extremity of a continuum. "Dying beings" are at the end of their life cycle, the other extremity of the continuum. They are just the same.
After a month at my job I also think the old folk are sweet. None of them is ugly, because they are all human beings. I don't dislike any of them, I can also say I love them all, yes I do. They have a lot of cuteness in them. Seeing and bathing old bodies is just the same as seeing and bathing babies' bodies, too. I just see them as human bodies - I just see them for what they are.
I love May when she talks nonsense with her cute and posh British English accent, because it's like she's "miming" teaching; she used to be a school teacher and it seems what is left out of her consciousness automatically just comes out. And when I listen and ask her questions even though I don't understand a thing I just love her because she is fascinating. Wonderful experience about human consciousness.
I love Lisa because she is adorable and funny and we have wonderful, simple conversations about life. I give her some of my youth and my "aliveness" and it makes her happy.
I am never angry at Jean when she shouts at me and calls me names because it is only the pain she has (left) that comes out and I understand her frustration from being so dependent. I never get angry at her when I have to take her to the toilet four times in an afternoon even if she is heavy and if I have to adjust her back onto her chair five times because she doesn't mean it, because I understand that her brain must work that way. (Oh and I would not even have imagined how much my "cognitive neuroscience of language" course and the theory of modularity help me to see her for what she is - some parts of her brain no longer work, and perhaps this is why she sometimes calls me a "dirty bitch"...)
I might never see Mr Wong again, but I am very grateful I had the opportunity to offer him loving hugs and kisses and to hold his hands in his last days. It would be selfish to be sad because it is time for him to go.
I am not sad that Helen died last week because every breath she took was so much pain that it made it extremely hard to care for her and she obviously needed the relief of death.
Certainly meditation helps me see my job for what it is. The place may not be ideal but once I accept it, all I do is bringing loving kindness to people and it doesn't matter where I work. Those people need it anyway. I do not work for myself, I work for them (or perhaps I work for myself through working for them).
I love my job because it reminds me what really matters in life. It helps me see things for what they are. It teaches me hundreds of things about myself. It is a wonderful opportunity to improve myself. And all I do when I'm there is live in the present moment, because it really is the only thing that matters...
A note on my three blogs
A note on my blogs
(1) vio; in love with india - this one is the main blog about my Indian adventures, which started in 2005. I don't write much on this blog these days because I prefer to write privately in the confidential blog. But check out the categories and the index to figure out your way. I have kept some older posts not about India but which I still find interesting or relevant in Old words. Also check out my new, fun category Only in India in which I post photos of funny, unique, Indian situations...
(2) vio; sounds of india - this is my blog of sounds, because India wouldn't be as incredible if it was not so vibrant and just so full of incredible sounds!
(3) vio; confidential - this an extension of my main blog in which I post entries I do not want to reveal to the entire webspace for privacy or sensitivity reasons. You must receive an invitation from me and then accept the invitation to be able to read it. You may email me if you are interested in receiving an invitation.