When you encounter another person who seems to be without hope, what is your response?
#30DaysOfLoveAndReflection – Day 9
When I encounter another person who seems to be without hope, my response depends on my relationship with the person and my feelings of responsibility toward them. It also depends on my own state of mind and heart.
Too often, I think my response is to try to fix the person by minimizing their situation or offering perspective that makes it seem more manageable. Sometimes this is driven by compassion for the person, but it can also be driven by my own need not to share their hopelessness.
Sometimes, if I do not feel a strong sense of responsibility, and especially if my own state of heart and mind is not resilient, I turn away from the person. While this can sometimes be a healthy choice or an act of self-preservation, I think it is too often a simple avoidance of discomfort.
At my best, in the absence of any tangible support of offer, I try simply to offer the gift of presence. This may provide a sounding board for working out their own issues. It may simply help them know they are not alone.
I’d like to be more comfortable being present in the face of hopelessness so that I could more fully honor to breadth of the human experience.