I was sitting quietly at Starbucks, deep in my own thoughts and minding my business when this elderly man came to my table with his computer, placed it on the table, took his headphones and invited me to put them on to listen to something on his computer. He looked about 80 – 90 years old. I must admit that I was a bit taken aback – no one has ever approached me with headphones before. He gently tried to put them to my ears and I helped him. He shared with me some sweet sentimental love songs which he was listening to. Now… now… I was not sure what to do next. He seemed so happy that he was sharing his music with me – his face just glowed! Not only did I listened to one song… but to three songs! Was he hitting on me? With love songs?
I detached this negative idea of him “hitting” on me from my mind and consciously decided to engage with him instead. He seemed very gentle and kind – there was this loving presence around him. I asked him a few questions and he gently explained that he was living close by in a retirement home and came to Starbucks everyday because he could get internet access to use his computer. I asked what he did before he retired and he said “I never worked a day in my life!” A bit surprised I asked him to explain and he said:
“At 15, I learnt how to play golf. That same summer, I also started teaching other people how to play golf. I become a golf teacher and taught and played golf my entire life. I never worked really!”
WOW!!! How many of us can say that about our lives? To retire at 82 and feel that you just enjoyed what you loved the most and did it everyday?
We had a beautiful conversation and he shared a bit more about his life. I felt so honoured to have been able to share those few moments of listening to his music, having this lovely conversation and just being in his presence.
When it was time for me to leave, I was not sure what to expect from him. Would he ask me for my number which would make it awkward? Again, I put the negative thought out of my mind. To my surprise he said, “Thank you for taking the time to speak with me. I am so glad I got to talk to you because I have seen you before, walking on this road, and have wished I could have a coffee with you. You made my wish come true.”
He did not ask to have a second coffee. He was not hitting on me.
Sometimes in life, we simply have to be open enough to let our guard down a bit. I am so glad that I did.
Let us TuneIn more to those around us. Maybe they don’t want anything from us except our love and time. Are our own judgements and perceptions of others interfering in how others see us and how we respond to them? StepUp and invite all that is pure and beautiful in your life… let the sources from where beauty and purity come from surprise you.