I walked into an aged care centre where I was due to run a Chair Chi session for residents and bumped into one of the women – a resident, 92 years old – who has participated in previous Chair Chi sessions.
I said, ‘Yaksha Mash’.
She looked at me stunned.
Then she said, ‘come here’. I stooped down from my tall frame and she gave me a kiss on the cheek, and motioned for me to do the same to her, which I did.
She said, ‘You’re lovely’.
Why the reaction?
Well, she’s Polish and I greeted her in her own language, “jak się masz”, which means “how are you?” . She obviously appreciated my effort.
It’s something I try to do whenever I run Chair Chi sessions at aged care centres. I find out what languages are spoken and greet people in their own languages. And every time I do that I get a smile and a nod of the head.
Sometimes, all it takes is a small gesture to make an impact and a connection with someone else!
Footnote: For privacy reasons, the image here is a stock photo, not one of the resident herself.