A chance encounter, a look, a touch, or my personal favorite, a few words, can have a lasting impact.
This afternoon a security guard stationed at the lobby of my office, Coral, an individual with whom I often exchange words of wisdom and inspiration, handed me a personally crafted gift; a two-paged essay. The heading of the paper read, Bendicion (Blessings).
Her words discussed, at length, the value and power of a custom amongst certain aunts, uncles, parents, and grandparent within Latino groups to demand blessings, admirable recognitions, respectively, from children, grandchildren, and nieces/nephews. This custom, as Coral detailed, is unbound by religion or class, and is instead a uttered gesture of respect towards a family elder, "thru these words, served to dignify His/Hers existence in the home." Coral's description reflects the essence of the custom and importance of the word within my own family. Till this day, you will find me greeting my parents, as well as aunts/uncles, with aBendicion and a kiss on the cheek.
As I continued to receive the grandiose impact of her heart-felt words, I could not help but to feel the "total vulnerability and trust" that such a custom generates. So much so, that as I sat alone in the lunchroom of my office, far from the numbing demands waiting in forcefully worded emails, I felt a touch of hope from my parents and passed, but not forgotten, grandparents. Nor could I cease the endless memories filled with guela (grandma) demanding, though it was more like ordering, me back into a room, a house, or car to give her a kiss on the cheek and utterance of a Bendicion. Unquestionably, as a kid I would drag my stubborn feet through the quicksand of my childish annoyance and lack of appreciation for such cultural norms, as I begrudgingly recited the enchanting words, “bendicion guela.”
And now, after experiencing this gracious reminder from the impact Coral's words, I wonder if there is something that could be shared with the generations ahead of me; am I too teaching the value of love? Respect? Appreciation?
Clearly, this is a question that cannot be answered till the time succeeding my last breath; a time where my children, grandchildren, and nieces/nephews, will have my sole words to relish. However, till that forthcoming impressionable moment, I shall share with you the simplest arrangement of a response, as well as my primary motivation for gracing you with this entry, "Bendicion transcends religion. It bonds people" and "people need to feel something good."
So as you venture off to your next chanced experience, where a look, a touch, or a set of words will move you, I will request of you, as Carol requested of me, "please share this with the ones you love and have a joyous day. Bendicion."