Stumbling around in the dark can be painful, dangerous, and frustrating. We bump into stuff; we get lost; we despair. We lose our bearings and do not know how to get where we are trying to be.
But we each can help by lighting the way–with our words and actions. Consider kindness, for example, and how it can shine light on a very dark situation. In a story now going viral, a woman shared about how she was young in an elevator with her mother, who was berating her. As they left, a stranger whispered to her, “It’s not you; It’s her.” Just those five words of encouragement helped her to see beyond the horrid situation she found herself in and to buttress herself against the abuse rather than assuming, as all children do, that her mother was correct in the condemnation. She found hope:
“When life gets really dark, when she hears her (inner) mother’s voice telling that she’s sh*t, she can’t do it, or to just plain give up,” Solomon writes, “she then sees that stranger’s face as the door closes in front of her.” In fact, sometimes, Solomon says, “it’s the only thing that keeps her going.”
Think of the power you have just with your ability to be kind to someone who desperately needs it! What a gift it is to have eyes that can see suffering and to be able to help. That ripple of kindness never stops.