In my work I meet some of the nicest people, when they are sick. I don’t like the context, but still am grateful for the visit and conversation. Maybe it takes their mind off their illness. If so, it was a success. At the same time, I’m also uplifted by their genuine good nature and appreciation for conversation. We jokingly say we would rather meet at Walmart next time instead of the hospital.
Any time we can lose track of time while talking, it’s a good thing. It slows down the world (at least our part of it) and brings back a sense of order and neighborliness. When they hold out a hand with an IV stuck in the top to greet or say goodbye, I know a connection has been made. It is they who make this happen. I simply introduce myself, and they respond as they wish.
If we treat others with respect, most people will return the sentiment. If not, we let them be. No harm done, and no reason to be offended. No one is required to like us or talk to us. If we learn not to take ourselves too seriously, we can move through the day more productively and more at peace. There really are nice people everywhere. Don’t let the news tell you otherwise.