Imagine now the state of mind that one must reach in order to seek out an ear during trying times. Some of us are better at asking than others. In either case, whether we are the type that procrastinates about life's problems or not, when we finally reach out we are in a state of unease. What are we seeking when we reach this point, this point of revealing our personal problems? What is the void we are attempting to fill? It is true that some of us are loud and full of opinion, while others are reserved and quiet. Both are required and in both lie an enumerable sum of ideas, thoughts, feelings, emotions, and most of all, love. When we see the more quiet among us displaying despair, what shall we do? As leaders, what are we bound to do?
God did not create us with the intention of solitude. This fact was revealed to Moses and recorded in the book of Genesis, "And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone..." Additionally, King Solomon teaches, "Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up." It is this then we seek. In troubling times, we seek help. We just want someone else to be there to listen to us so that we feel less alone. God designed us to help one another. As we progress along our leadership journey, we sense a growing urge inside of us to help others. We must take baby-steps, however, as we stretch our wings and prepare to fly.
When we find our self in this situation, we must guard against our ego. It can find its way mysteriously into our conversations. This subtle form is nearly impossible to blockade. "I know exactly how you feel...It is not as bad as you think it is...You should not let it bother you...I bounced back in no time when...I went through the exact same thing and look at me know...You should just...that is how I handled it...you won't always feel like this...Time heals all wounds..." The list goes on and on. In a genuine attempt to offer sympathy we can cause the following responses inside the head of our acquaintance, "She doesn't really know how I feel...His situation was not like mine...I can't believe he just thinks I can get over it so easily...She doesn't understand...My brain doesn't work like that...Easy for him to say...I'm hurting on the inside, you don't understand..." We think we are helping, but we can actually produce the opposite result. We are all unique individuals and as such we all react differently to similar situations. Remember this, it is not understanding or advice that we desire, we just want someone else to feel, on the inside, if just for a moment exactly how we feel. This is our only remedy. This is the compassion of humanity.
Copyright © Robert Clinton Chedester 2013