Most of us probably go through the day having to do the regular things like: brushing our teeth, making our sandwiches in the morning for today’s lunch, making that cup of coffee that will fuel us through the day. At times, these things may seem so chore-like that we often don’t want to do them. But for others, it is a sense of achievement, a sense of self-worth. The little things that we take for granted (for most of us) can be so purposeful for someone else… which I think is the biggest thing I have learned within these 6 weeks of placement.
It is one thing to learn about something, but another to actually experience and see how it functions and works; the essence behind the philosophy. At first, I took it as a chance to enhance my abilities to build rapport with the people there, but as the weeks slowly unraveled, I started seeing something else emerge. It was especially apparent when I had switched to working in the kitchen. This one woman in particular, she was new working in the kitchen, and she had volunteered to make the daily sandwiches. At first, she would ask several questions regarding how to make a sandwich: “Do I put the bread like this? Where do I put the mustard? Is this good? Where should I cut it?” and it would take an hour to make 4 sandwiches. But in the next few days, the change was very apparent; her confidence was slowly building, and by the end of the week, she was so efficient at making sandwiches, that we would have started preparing for that day’s supper by late morning! I remember one day, I asked her what she was having for lunch, and she said “I’m going to buy my sandwich that I made this morning!”. Being able to eat what you made with your own hands is so powerful that we often overlook it. And being able to prepare a meal for 10 people can be so beneficial in so many ways; not just to satisfy hunger. It has a more powerful underlying message to it. And it may be different for everyone in a different sense.
We may find making that cup of coffee in the morning a chore. We may find making that dinner a hassle. But for others, who don’t often get the chance to do it, or even the confidence in themselves to do it, it can be so uplifting and encouraging. To them, it is something more than just that chore. It’s part of their healing; of learning; of growing.