It is so easy for us to get wrapped up in our own lives. Everyone has a busy schedule or routine during the weekdays, so we are constantly on the go. During these busy times, I think it is also important for each one of us to try to slow down and check in on one another. With the importance of mental health on the rise, I believe that reaching out to a friend or even a stranger is something we should practice daily. Even though we might not show it, everyone is fighting a battle that we know nothing about. Sister Mary McDermott reminded me of this the other day.
Last Monday, I was running on zero sleep from the weekend and I had a huge to-do list to tackle. I hurried to my office with a large coffee in my hand and very little makeup on. I guess she could tell that I had a lot on my mind. After I passed her desk, she strolled up to my doorway and said, “How are you doing today?” As I was I was scrolling through my list of emails, I replied, “Oh you know, just a normal Monday” as I started listing the things I had on my plate for the day. Sister Mary paused for a bit and then said, “No, how are YOU doing?” I stopped and turned around in my chair to face her. The way that she emphasized the second question really hit me. She wasn’t concerned with my tasks at hand, she was concerned for my well-being that morning (I know I looked a little frazzled). Even though it was a very simple question, it had a great impact on me because I knew I had someone listening who really cared.
That morning, Sister Mary truly showed me the Ursuline way of demonstrating kindness and compassion. We can challenge each other to reach and check in on people who we haven’t heard from in a while. We can also be a friend to a stranger and pass along a nice compliment. We sometimes forget that even the smallest gesture makes the biggest difference.