Lessons From The Lady At The Subway Station

Posted by Maki Kawamura on Nov 14, 2016
2313 reads  
Today, I saw the lady who was cleaning the subway station floor. She was working so hard and I was inspired by how hard she is working. I wanted to say thank you but I did not want her to feel that I am just saying thank you. I wanted to say thank you, not for the purpose of making myself feel good.

I sat near where she was working and asking myself how to do this.
How can I express my feeling of gratitude to her.
I meditated and asked myself over and over again for the right timing to arrive.
I was searching for the right word and right situation.

I sat in the chair for over 30 minutes, looking at her.
She was working without rest and her breath was starting to become faster, sweat was coming out of her for head.

While I was watching her, I started to share her life. Her life and my life,,,the boundary faded. When I felt that it was no longer I was thanking and she will be thanked,,,,I let go the fear that I am saying thank you to make me feel good.
I needed to thank her to make me part of her life.

I was able to go up to her with a can of tea and gave her thank you note and I shared my feeling toward her.
I told her that I was inspired by her work, the way she worked and I could not leave the place so I stayed near her for over 30 minutes but you never rested and you never lost your concentration and I was so inspired to see how people can work so hard with so much intention. I want to thank you for showing me and giving lesson to me about how to commit one's self to put energy and to each work,,,,,
and I want to tell you that I will work like you today. To put a lot of intention to each work I will do today.

And she started crying.
We shook hand and told each other that we hope to see each other again and said good bye.

Her existence stayed for a whole day.
It was a gift to see and connect to her
and I realize this is the giving that can gain big growth within myself.
Even thought I am giving, I grow from the giving.  

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Comments (6)

  • Kaci Koltz wrote ...

    This brought tears to my eyes! If only we could all share such deep appreciation for each other. Thank you for sharing!

  • Xiaojuan Shu wrote ...

    Thank you for sharing such a deep experience! You truly made you part of her and her part of you by taking time to connect with yourself and her presence and telling her that her cleaning work was inspiring to you. Her tears may tell us how much she is under appreciated by us. Thank you!!!

  • Savraj Thind wrote ...

    Thankyou dear Maki for sharing this story of love. It so beautifully demonstrates how showing sincere gratitude to someone can teach us deep lessons in humility and mindfulness. Sending you lots of love.

  • Nisha Srinivasan wrote ...

    "I needed to thank her to make me part of her life." Beautiful..And in doing so, you made her a part of your life.

  • Virginie Leveque wrote ...

    Such a heartwarming story... thank you for sharing, Maki!

  • Ward Mailliard wrote ...

    Thank you for this. Noticing goodness makes more goodness.