In my line of work I hear all kinds of platitudes, cliché’s, trite statements, and seemingly plastic phrases. When we have a bump in the road, are broken by life’s circumstances, or are undergoing a major crises or tragedy, people tend to whip these plastic phrases out and put them to use on us. Its not that these plastic phrases aren’t true. Usually cliché’s have a way of becoming a cliché because they have proven themselves to actually have a bit of truth time and time again. It’s just that, in a moment of crises or tragedy, platitudes and plastic phrases don’t cut it. During difficult times it isn’t our minds or our heads that are hurt or broken. It’s our hearts. We know all the cliché’s and trite statements already. We don’t need to hear them from other people. And when other people are hurting, they don’t need to hear cliché’s and trite statements from us either. We need to know that we aren’t alone. We need to know that we are loved. We need to know that no matter what happens, we are going to be ok. That regardless of the circumstance, or crises, or tragedy our life won’t be swallowed up by what’s happening in the world.
What we need in times of trouble and/or tragedy is to have someone be present with us. There is no substitute to having someone who is fully present, fully aware, and fully giving us their attention. It so rarely happens that someone will turn off to everything else and just BE with us. Think about it. When was the last time you turned off your mobile devices, computer, tablet, notebook, smartphone, TV, mind, concerns and just gave 100% of your attention to the person sitting or standing in front of you? That is one of the most powerful, energizing, comforting and hope-filled things we can do for a person. Give them ourselves.
When life is wrecking me, I never feel the need for a quick answer. I crave the presence of a caring, loving person who is willing to give themselves and their time to me. Nothing heals like that. Nothing comforts like that. Nothing.
Lets keep our plastic phrases in our pockets and instead have the courage to share the essence of our hearts with someone who is sitting in a place that we have been ourselves or will be at some point. Everyone has a platitude to share, but only you can share your self with others. Bring all of you to this world in a time of need. We need you.
The best thing I have to offer someone in their time of need is simply my attention. By being completely present with someone I am giving them the greatest gift of all. I will help others feel connected to humanity by being present in their time of need.