So many people are going through so much suffering, anxiety, bitterness and regret that you can’t avoid them. Or can you? I mean, when someone talks to you about how much they are hurting, our first reaction is to refer them to someone else—a professional who will deal with it, or to tell them that you will “call them later.” The best way to help someone is to stop what you are doing and draw your mind to attention toward them.
I know this is difficult. This activity will almost never come at a time which is convenient. Just the other day I was out shopping and was in a hurry to get back to work. Someone came up to me and said, “This might not be appropriate, but I have a question for you.” I felt that this might be a long conversation and I just did not have the time. I got a little worried and thought how inconvenient this was going to be for me. But I just decided at that moment to relax a little bit and really listen, even though I did not feel like it at the time. I am so glad I did because I learned some very important things about this person’s situation right there in the store that I would have never known. Also, I think that a few minutes of listening really helped her to have hope and to think a little more clearly.
We are always in a hurry. We can always say that the person needs to see someone else. It is rarely convenient. But we really need to see the opportunity and remember that the world can wait just a minute. The gift of time is the best. Listening always helps, even if it for a minute or two. Take the time next chance you get and you will see what I mean. Remember that urgent feeling you have had in the past when you were upset and how a few minutes of someone’s time really helped.