The poem “A Stranger Passes By” is such a poignant example of how we are sometimes guilty of taking our loved ones for granted and skip showing them the courtesy they deserve.
I remember, more than a decade ago, my son asking me why we are always so particular about saying “sorry” or “thank you” to strangers when we are out but at home, we just take our family members or even friends for granted. Mom brings a cup of coffee, we take it, enjoy it. Friend does us a favor, we’re happy. Sure we smile and maybe even hug, but we do not always say the words. Thank you. Or sorry, when we are.
It is not as if we don’t feel grateful or sorry. It is just that we are so busy rushing around or are preoccupied with our own selves or work that we just don’t pause to think. We simply forget that some of the things we expect of them – they are not obliged to do them. Right?
So when I read this poem titled “A stranger passes by” I wanted to share it. Enjoy it. And perhaps, pause to contemplate – how often have you been guilty of not being courteous with those who love you, and those whom you love.
A stranger passes by
I ran into a stranger as he passed by.
“Oh, excuse me please” was my reply.
He said, “Please, excuse me too,
Wasn’t even watching for you.”
We were very polite, this stranger and I.
We went on our way and we said good-bye.
But at home a different story is told,
How we treat our loved ones, young and old.
Later that day, cooking the evening meal,
My daughter stood beside me very still.
When I turned, I nearly knocked her down.
“Move out of the way,” I said with a frown.
She walked away, her little heart broken
at how harshly I had spoken.
While I lay awake in bed,
A divine voice came to me and said,
“While dealing with a stranger, common courtesy you use,
But the children you love, you seem to abuse.
Look on the kitchen floor,
You’ll find some flowers there by the door.
Those are the flowers she brought for you.
She picked them herself, pink, yellow and blue.
She stood quietly not to spoil the surprise,
And you never saw the tears in her eyes.
“By this time, I felt very small,
and now my tears began to fall.
I quietly went and knelt by her bed;
“Wake up, little girl, wake up,” I said.
“Are these the flowers you picked for me?”
She smiled, “I found ’em, out by the tree.
I picked ’em, because they’re pretty like you.
I knew you’d like ’em, especially the blue.
I said, “Daughter, I’m sorry for the way I acted today;
I shouldn’t have yelled at you that way.”
She said, “Oh, Mom, that’s okay.
I love you anyway.”
I said, “Daughter, I love you too,
And I do like the flowers, especially the blue.”
Did you like the poem?
The next time a stranger passes by you, and you show them kindness, do remember to do the same for your loved ones.
Relationships are precious, but they will last only if we treat our loved ones with the same respect and courtesy we show others – or what we expect from others. All of us enjoy feeling valued and appreciated for what we do and it makes sense to do as you would be done by.
Wednesday Wisdom is a series with short bursts of easy-to-consume wisdom in the form of inspiring stories, verse, quotes, anecdotes, reflections, easy meditation, thought-provoking questions and humor.