We are all rainbows in each other's clouds

We are all rainbows in each other's clouds

By Pang Zijun, Facilitator/Implementation Consultant, Arbinger Singapore/Malaysia | November 24, 2020

A little something happened on Sat. that nearly brought me to tears…

I was shopping in Aeon, and looking at food colorings when an old lady asked quietly if I could help her find baking soda. Her dialect sounded like my late grandmother.

“Of course,” I said, “by the way are you from @#$ (Chinese city)?”

“Yes, I am! How do you know?” she replied in surprise.

“You sound like my grandma,” I answered, handed her a box of baking soda, and was ready to leave.

“Can you help me have a look at this milk and this soy sauce?” she asked again apologetically, explaining that she does not speak Malay nor English and was afraid she picked up the wrong item.

I walk to her trolley and started looking while we engaged in a short conversation, in which I learned that she’s here in Malaysia alone, her husband passed away 8 years ago and her daughter is living in Seattle with her family. She no longer has family in China, and do not keep in touch with her in-laws here.

I noticed she picked up a bottle of oyster sauce rather than soy sauce, so suggested that I’d go to the shelf with her to pick another bottle.

To my surprised, she began crying quietly. Her hands attempted to reach mine with hesitation, and I kind of froze not knowing what to do…

“Would you like to have my number?” I asked, “perhaps you can talk to me if you feel lonely and need help with shopping?” I wasn’t even sure it was the right thing to do, to pass my number to a complete stranger in a supermarket, but felt it was the only thing I could do that might offer her any sort of comfort.

“I would very much love to have your number, of course!” she took out her phone, suggesting that we can talk on WeChat or WhatsApp, whichever that’s convenient for me, and she looked deep into my eyes and said one thing that still makes me feel emotional even today — “you are very beautiful.”

It might seem like I have been the “heroine” in this story, but personally, I’d conclude the opposite.

Although I did not have any challenges or difficulties in the outer world, my inner world, and many of ours, are suffering because of different reasons: loss of employment of a dear friend, peer pressure, ego, ambition, and greed, etc. especially during this difficult time.

The whole weekend I was reflecting: when was the last time I actively peek through these clouds and seek and appreciate the beauty in others? What was the last time I invested in understanding other people and heard their stories?

In my pursuit of happiness, maybe I have followed the wrong path to think many relationships of mine weakened because of the increased physical distance, while the truth has always been that it is because of my disconnectedness with the humanity of others’ — when I felt unloved, unwanted, unappreciated and abandoned, I did not invest my time in making others feel loved, wanted, appreciated and included, to begin with.

2020 has been a strange year (especially strange for me relationship-wise, many bridges are burnt), but moving forward, I would love to be reminded constantly that.

"Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek."

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