The past several months we have witnessed incredible devastation and loss of human lives due to hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, the tragic event in Las Vegas and the loss of U S. soldiers So many people have suffered a myriad of physical, emotional and psychological traumas through their personal experiences with each of these events. More than ever, humankind needs us to be generous and not only with financial donations. We need to be especially forthcoming with compassion and empathy, kindness and patience.
It’s hard to comprehend how many lives have significantly been impacted by all those events cited above. It includes family members and friends, first responders, volunteers, hospital and emergency employees, power company employees, clean up crew members and so many more. It’s a big ripple effect out into our communities, taking a physical, emotional and psychological toll on each and every one.
I’ve heard some stories and accounts firsthand — it was heartbreaking to see the depth of emotional pain in another human being. It will be a very long time for the grieving, the healing and the return to some sort of normalcy for so many people.
Over lunch with friends recently, we talked openly about our life experiences with the loss of loved ones, of battling cancers, and a myriad of life tragedies that happened in our families. Then we talked about what helped each of us most as we put one foot in front of the other each day as we slowly rebuilt our lives. Without fail, it was the kindness and compassion of another human being that made a heartfelt lasting impact in our journey.
What the world needs now is lots of kindness and compassion, more love and understanding. When my grandmother was passing away, I recall saying to my uncle that “all we could do was pray” and he turned to face me. A smile crossed his face as he took my hands into his and he said “Everything we can do is pray.” He changed my whole perspective with just one word.
You may not realize that the time you spend just sitting and listening to another as they unload their hurt and sadness is priceless to them. It is everything.
You may not be aware that your handwritten note of sympathy is read a dozen times a day by someone who just lost a spouse or a child. It is a tribute to the person they love and mourn.
Looking into another’s eyes and acknowledging them is such a simple gesture yet it has more impact than you can imagine. Trust me, they will feel that human connection.
Human connection, being fully present for another person, opening our hearts to the struggles that others are facing and being a safe place for them to share — these gifts are everything to someone in need. Make time to be more aware as you go through your day and engage with others.
This Saturday is National Make a Difference Day. How odd that we have such a day. Shouldn’t every day be an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life?
Just remember that what seems small to you just might be everything to someone else.