I will never forget the conversation my family and I had. We were four people sitting around the table: my Mom, my Dad, myself and my brother, all sitting on different sides of the table. I don’t remember the subject being discussed, but I do remember this: my Dad interrupted the conversation and said “Look up. Tell me what you see in front of you.”
All stunned, we told him what we saw: the neighbours’ house, the cupboards in the kitchen, the clock on the wall, and the credenza. So what? My Dad piped up and said “See, we are all sitting here, in the same room, side by side, and we all see different things. We all have different perspectives from sitting in a different position.” That resonated with me.
This conversation came to mind the other day when I was sitting with a group of professionals that all assist seniors in a variety of ways. That day our guest speaker was the Alzheimer society. They shared with us the type of support they provide and brought along a short video to show us how they do it. The video showed a wife finding support from people around her who also shared their lives with someone with Alzheimer’s, younger people with early on-set Alzheimer’s (they knew they had the disease and found a place where they could share their feelings and fears with others in the same situation) and a group of people with advanced Alzheimer’s partaking in different activities and having a good laugh together.
The movie and the question period ended. The meeting was drawing to a close. I was uplifted and energized. Why? Having worked as a director of activities I know that implementing good programs and sharing tender moments with people can really enlighten them and bring lots of joy to everyone involved. It is wonderful knowing that such a great resource provides a wide variety of programs and supports people whose lives are touched by Alzheimer’s.
It put a smile in my heart and on my lips.
I was about to share how I felt with the two professionals sitting beside me. One of them was an occupational therapist and the other was a lawyer, and both of them said that the movie was depressing and had upset them. I was stunned because that was the totally opposite to what I was feeling. I can see how they could feel that way, but that is certainly not how it made me feel.
Everything is a question of perspective.