There’s a story circulating on the web. I’m dubious that it’s true. But, true or not, I’m drawn to the story because it illustrates an important way to help someone who’s in a difficult situation:
Bestselling author Leo Buscaglia was asked to judge a contest to find the “most caring child.” The winner was a four-year-old boy, who, upon seeing his recently widowed elderly neighbor crying, had gone into the man’s yard and climbed into his lap. When the boy’s mother later asked what he had said to the man, the child replied, “Nothing, I just helped him cry.”
When we try to help people we care about through difficult situations, we often want to “do”—take some kind of action or say the right thing.
Sometimes, it’s more powerful and more helpful just to be there, quietly.