Empty hands

I saw her sitting there on the upturned crate.

Old weathered face, wrinkled from some far away sun and a lifetime of experience.

Scarf on head, hobbled leg in front of her, the crutch lying on the cobbled street beside her.

It was a busy afternoon. People rushed by – her empty hat smiled hopefully up at them,

Waiting for a few coins, a smile, a look in the eyes. Anything to acknowledge her humanity.

She sat there unnoticed, just another statistic. Easily dismissed with a ‘They work in gangs to beg and don’t need the money.”

I too have been guilty of the not noticing. But not today. I felt so sad to see this old woman sitting there, invisible.

Those hands have nurtured, loved, baked, cared for others, those hands were beautiful with her love.

So, I bought a single red flower. “For you,” I said quietly while looking into her eyes filled with tears and – perhaps – a fierce joy.

I wanted to fill those hands with something lovely. A gesture to let her know: “I have seen you.”

I’m not a better person than you – I’m probably a much worse one, in fact.

But she is me. They are us.

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”
— Mother Teresa

I’m very happy to announce that the My World meme is continuing under the name: Our World Tuesday. In memory of Klaus, who created a great network of people from around the world and helped them to become friends.


Please feel free to join the Our World community on Facebook too.

97 responses

  1. To look someone in the eyes and let them know ~ I see you ~ it is one of the greatest gifts ♥ beautiful gesture, beautiful post.

    Like

    August 29, 2011 at 15:53

  2. Karen

    They are us, and today we were given a beautiful, single red flower – through this lovely lady’s hands.

    Thank you for this wonderful post, Lady Fi! 🙂

    Karen

    Like

    August 29, 2011 at 16:07

  3. I loved this post. So introspective!

    Like

    August 29, 2011 at 16:41

  4. Ash

    Excellent post, Lady Fi. Thank you for sharing this!

    Like

    August 29, 2011 at 16:59

  5. this is beautiful…i see them all over…and you rbign her to life and confront some of out mis-givings as well…thank you…

    Like

    August 29, 2011 at 17:02

  6. This is so touching!

    Like

    August 29, 2011 at 17:43

  7. “There but for the grace of God…” What a beautiful post and gentle reminder to love all.

    Like

    August 29, 2011 at 18:47

  8. This is a beautiful — and at the same time, sad — post. It’s sad, because of the plight of that poor woman. It’s beautiful because her humanity was recognized, and we were all reminded of the need to actually see these, our neighbors.

    Like

    August 29, 2011 at 19:13

  9. Thanks for the reminder to add the My World link today. I had meant to add that last night when I was getting the post ready, but instead, my aging memory hit the delete button as it does so frequently!!! But I have added the link now. So happy to have you on board with us!!! Have a lovely evening and a great week!

    Sylvia

    Like

    August 29, 2011 at 19:20

  10. Hi, LadyFi. Thanks for visiting my blog for the first time. I have added yours to my blog roll and will visit it daily. I notice you use WordPress, too. Love your format!

    Like

    August 29, 2011 at 19:36

  11. heartwarming and beautiful. thanks Fiona.

    Like

    August 29, 2011 at 20:04

  12. i have a tear in my eye….

    Like

    August 29, 2011 at 20:12

  13. Thanks for co-hosting Our World Tuesday. It will be great to see our usual bloggers around the world gather on this day.

    Great job!

    Like

    August 29, 2011 at 20:31

  14. This is beautiful and touching.. your post give me some tears in my eyes.. Thank you for sharing.
    And thanks for Our World! Hugs from Tania

    Like

    August 29, 2011 at 20:32

  15. Great post. Too many people are forgotten! Thank you for making the world a better place by remembering.

    Like

    August 29, 2011 at 21:08

  16. This was a very beautiful and touching post.

    Like

    August 29, 2011 at 21:09

  17. a very thoughtful and thought-provoking post.

    Like

    August 29, 2011 at 21:29

  18. “I See you. I Hear you.”
    That is all people really want, don’t they Lady, Fi?
    Such a BEAUTIFUL post.
    Thank you. xx

    Like

    August 29, 2011 at 21:47

  19. Beautiful. Thank you for recognising this woman’s humanity and worth. A lovely thing to do.

    Like

    August 29, 2011 at 22:05

  20. What a humae thing to do.

    I am also verty thankful for the continuation of this meme. In honor of Klaus.

    Like

    August 29, 2011 at 22:14

  21. How beautiful! I´m sure you made her day!

    Like

    August 29, 2011 at 22:55

  22. You have caused me to be speechless once again.

    Like

    August 29, 2011 at 22:58

  23. Lovely post. I am thinking about how it makes me feel when (for example) a clerk in a store doesn’t acknowledge my presence, but keeps talking to her friend as she rings up my purchases. ( I, who have all the resources and friends and family I need — who never ignore me — and yet I am momentarily sad when a perfect stranger fails to acknowledge me as a fellow human being.) And so I can i so easily how this woman who has nothing and is ignored by almost everybody would have appreciated what you did.

    Thanks for makling me think!

    And thanks again for “Our World.”

    Like

    August 29, 2011 at 23:19

  24. Beautiful post that brought tears to my eyes. Well done!

    Like

    August 30, 2011 at 00:16

  25. I think it is the human condition to want to be noticed. Should this woman sitting on the street, however, feel somewhat humiliated by her plight, the rose would signify respect and a shared appreciation of beauty.

    Like

    August 30, 2011 at 00:44

  26. that is so touching and moving.

    Like

    August 30, 2011 at 00:59

  27. Your gift is probably one of the nicest I’ve ever read about. You are a gem, Fiona.

    Like

    August 30, 2011 at 01:41

  28. Wonderful, I love those colors, especially the first.

    Like

    August 30, 2011 at 01:42

  29. ds

    What a beautiful gift. And to have noticed her hands and thought about them (we can tell an awful lot about a person by looking at their hands). You are such a generous person!

    Like

    August 30, 2011 at 02:03

  30. Thank you! For seeing and caring. And thank you for taking on this meme.

    Like

    August 30, 2011 at 02:30

  31. I once held hands with a homeless man in a park for 30 minutes while he told me his story. All my friends and family said I was an idiot for doing that as he could have hurt me but I felt so good inside afterwards by being there for another human being. Lovely post and photos.

    Like

    August 30, 2011 at 02:32

  32. Touching and moving post! Thanks for the beautiful gesture towards the old lady.
    ¤ Have a nice and happy week ¤

    Like

    August 30, 2011 at 02:44

  33. Truly a lovely post. It’s too easy to pretend their not there. Even when you don’t have the money to help- a smile! It can mean the world, I think, I hope! Thanks!

    Like

    August 30, 2011 at 03:23

  34. beautiful…….

    Like

    August 30, 2011 at 03:25

  35. That was such a touching gesture.
    I have learned a lesson here today, thanks!

    Like

    August 30, 2011 at 04:54

  36. I always try to smile, even when I’m in a group, being rushed along by my husband, but the red flower — that’s wonderful, Fi. Bless you.
    — K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

    Like

    August 30, 2011 at 05:10

  37. Thank you, I know the feeling. When I was young and on an art school sketching expedition in a derelict building, I met a squatter on a mattress who obviously had just slept off the cheap drink of the night before.
    I quietly went across the road and got a healthy sandwich and I will never forget his face, he was speechless that anyone could do that.

    Like

    August 30, 2011 at 07:43

  38. Such a lovely post. Thank you for taking time to show some humanity that day!

    Like

    August 30, 2011 at 08:25

  39. Your posts always leave me searching for words…such beautiful thoughts…Gives us so much to think about.. Thanks so much 🙂

    Like

    August 30, 2011 at 09:13

  40. Beautifully meaningful. Thank you……

    Like

    August 30, 2011 at 10:00

  41. a nice gesture I think. It is so sad, isn´t it?

    Like

    August 30, 2011 at 10:01

  42. Hi there – I still think its strange that I see people who claim the text, Facebook and blogs keep them in touch – but you can see that that ignore people who are a few feet from them. Strange.
    Great post.
    SM

    Like

    August 30, 2011 at 11:17

  43. It is our common humanity which is important, as you say. The rest of it is just “stuff”.

    Like

    August 30, 2011 at 11:23

  44. Great post. It is too easy to lump those who make us uncomfortable as part of “they” whoever “they” is, it is much harder to treat people as people.

    Like

    August 30, 2011 at 13:12

  45. Sometimes we do overlook important little things as we were so busy in our daily life. Thanks for sharing your part of the world with us.

    Like

    August 30, 2011 at 15:02

  46. As we put on a heart of compassion, and as instructed …put on love…it reaps its own rewards. Beautiful photo and sentiments.

    Like

    August 30, 2011 at 15:37

  47. Pat

    A beautiful, touching post.

    Like

    August 30, 2011 at 16:05

  48. That’s a sad side of our world !

    Like

    August 30, 2011 at 16:07

  49. What a touching post! Living so close to the city, this is something we see everyday and yet we don’t *see* at all. Thanks for the gentle reminder.

    Like

    August 30, 2011 at 16:11

  50. I also congratulate “Our World Tuesday.” I already followed it on facebook.

    Like

    August 30, 2011 at 16:16

  51. JM

    I know exactly what you mean by ‘They work in gangs to beg and don’t need the money.”, as there are many ‘wrinkled faces from some far away sun’ here too… and it’s sad, very sad. This is a very moving post, Lady Fi.

    Like

    August 30, 2011 at 17:59

  52. What a beautiful post! We should be more attentive to the people we meet in the street..

    Like

    August 30, 2011 at 19:09

  53. Love the Mother Teresa quote… That says it all, doesn’t it? YES–the homeless and needy are all around us. When you think, while looking at that woman, that this could be US —with a little bad luck or change in our lives. Scary to think about, isn’t it?

    Great post.. Thanks!
    Hugs,
    Betsy

    Like

    August 30, 2011 at 19:11

  54. Sometimes the spirit moves me to give to a beggar. It doesn’t matter if they are needy or not, I’ve ceased to worry. Better to give to nine who don’t deserve than miss the one in need.

    My thanks to you and the rest of the hosts for continuing this meme concept. It encourages us all to look at our world in a more inclusive way. We share a single Earth.

    Like

    August 30, 2011 at 19:49

  55. In my corner of our world, I see a lot of poverty and pain. I confess some days I am more humane than others… it overwhelms me at times. But there is truth to the “gang” story, Fi, and so I stash a basket of edibles, from crackers to small cans of sardines that I give to the [mostly child] beggars on the street. I have given food to homeless in the States, too, but on more than one occasion they have aggressively rejected it making it hard to act humane, even when one feels compassion.

    Like

    August 30, 2011 at 20:58

  56. Al

    That is a very nice gesture. I always wonder what the story is behind people like this.

    Like

    August 30, 2011 at 21:07

  57. This is beautiful.

    Like

    August 30, 2011 at 21:11

  58. sm

    beautiful post

    Like

    August 30, 2011 at 21:36

  59. That is a very powerful post and message to all of us. I looked at the picture of this old lady and I thought about her life. What did she hope about and dream. Was she ever happy in her life. And how was life treating her? Sad, very sad….

    This are two exquisite pictures. One tells us a story and another warms our heart.

    Beautiful post, fantastic pictures. I love them both very, very much.

    Thank you for this thoughtful and touching post.

    Greetings from Kaya.

    Like

    August 30, 2011 at 22:12

  60. What a beautiful post Lady Fi. Thank you for sharing this!

    Like

    August 30, 2011 at 22:23

  61. cobbled / hobbled. Wisdom!
    I’m honored that you find the time to visit my little Hawaii blog. . .

    Aloha from Waikiki;

    Comfort Spiral
    >

    >

    <

    Like

    August 31, 2011 at 00:32

  62. A beautiful, sensitive post. Wow. Makes me think of the Bird Lady in Mary Poppins–a downright gorgeous moment in that movie.

    Like

    August 31, 2011 at 02:57

  63. Thanks for stopping to pause and think about her and her humanity. Thank you for making ME stop to think about it!

    Like

    August 31, 2011 at 03:26

  64. Very thought proviking Fi. Nice of you to acknowledge her – Dave

    Like

    August 31, 2011 at 09:53

  65. I’m touched by this post, and you have beautifully reminded me to do something nice today for another person.

    Like

    August 31, 2011 at 13:07

  66. Fiona, I was shocked to hear that Klaus is no longer with us. I haven’t taken part in Skywatch or My World for some time (I was finding it difficult to keep up with returning all the comments) and I didn’t know Klaus had passed away this month. I followed the links to his blog and found that he had pre-arranged quite a lot of posts and is still, therefore, sharing his marvellous photos with the world. Good luck to you, Arija, Sandy and Sylvie with the new meme. I don’t know if I will take part, but I know those of you who do will enjoy many beautiful and thought-provoking sights from all over the world.
    Janice. x

    Like

    August 31, 2011 at 13:24

  67. What a lovely gesture you made. It is lovely to hear that the meme is to continue in memory of Klaus. I have never joined in but should consider doing so I think.

    Like

    August 31, 2011 at 13:54

  68. really beautiful. came over from hilary’s place to say congrats on your POTW!

    Like

    August 31, 2011 at 14:07

  69. A most wonderful post .. over from Hilary’s to say congrats on POTW! And I think the continuing of Klaus’s work is wonderful.

    Like

    August 31, 2011 at 15:13

  70. Wonderful gesture from you.

    Like

    August 31, 2011 at 15:14

  71. Beautiful words and images. You have such a sensitive soul…
    Congratulations on POTW, well deserved.;))
    xoxo

    Like

    August 31, 2011 at 15:31

  72. Jeanie

    So poignant and such a good reminder for all of us.

    Like

    August 31, 2011 at 15:32

  73. what a touching post! loved it . i also loved the image you shared with us.

    splendidly beautiful!

    betty xx

    Like

    August 31, 2011 at 16:11

  74. Lovely tones and composition….

    Like

    August 31, 2011 at 17:28

  75. Yes, some of us go along our self-centered lives forgetting others. We don’t make eye contact and forget to look around us. Thanks for this important message.

    Like

    August 31, 2011 at 18:09

  76. This was beautiful and truly spoke to the times we live in. So glad I stopped by on Sonia’s recommendations.

    Thanks for making us all step back and reframe what we think we see.
    b

    Like

    August 31, 2011 at 18:32

  77. it’s important to see, to notice to honor. thanks for the reminder. thanks also for stopping by my place.

    Like

    August 31, 2011 at 19:26

  78. We entertain angels unaware…

    Like

    August 31, 2011 at 19:33

  79. Oh, Fi, what a love you are. POTW? No…post of the year.

    Like

    August 31, 2011 at 19:42

  80. Such a touching most beautiful post.

    Congrats on the POTW.

    Like

    August 31, 2011 at 20:18

  81. Beautiful post ladyfi. ❤

    Like

    August 31, 2011 at 20:23

  82. imac

    Congrats on the new name in memory of Klaus.
    Great post.

    Like

    August 31, 2011 at 21:55

  83. you are so inspiring
    a lovely post
    and a lovely heart you are

    Like

    August 31, 2011 at 23:04

  84. Big sigh. That’s a beautiful and heart-felt post. Thank you.
    And congrats on your POTW from Hilary.
    xo jj

    Like

    August 31, 2011 at 23:34

  85. You’re beautiful.

    Like

    September 1, 2011 at 00:53

  86. Beautiful post and lovely photos. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

    September 1, 2011 at 02:25

  87. Beautifully expressed – I hate to realize how cynical I can be but I caught myself thinking the woman probably didn’t want a flower she wanted money. I have that side of me but the stronger side is so touched to read about this because as you write, we all just want to be noticed. There was such a history there and how wonderful that you took the time to be with it.

    Like

    September 1, 2011 at 04:55

  88. I bet there was money with the flower..you are too kind:)

    Like

    September 1, 2011 at 04:59

    • You’re right! You know me too well…

      Like

      September 1, 2011 at 09:04

  89. This is so touching…
    Really meaningful indeed.

    Like

    September 1, 2011 at 08:45

  90. Such a beautiful post!

    Like

    September 1, 2011 at 10:19

  91. thank you so much for sharing this. it’s nearly impossible to walk downtown la without seeing the homeless. sometimes i don’t see them, although i consider myself an advocate for them sometimes. the problem is overwhelming, seemingly. but it is also solvable. we just have to care and act.

    Like

    September 1, 2011 at 19:51

  92. Such a beautiful, warm and thought provoking post ladyfi.

    Like

    September 1, 2011 at 22:18

  93. I like your pictures and reflective thoughts.

    Like

    September 2, 2011 at 19:40

  94. Can we get a few Republicans to read your post? Sorry — that wasn’t nice.

    This is such an inspiring thing you did. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to view this today. Thank you.

    Like

    September 4, 2011 at 01:11

  95. Beautiful post, thank you, it made take a good look around at my surrounding and not to be so focused on myself.

    Like

    September 9, 2011 at 08:10

  96. Beautiful post. Thank you. It made me take a good look around at my surroundings and not to be so focused on myself.

    Like

    September 9, 2011 at 08:11

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