Giving hope versus delivering the fatal blow

Monday, 16 January 2012 – giving hope versus delivering the fatal blow

“To him, a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune a tragedy, a joy an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover a God and failure is death.” *

I read this quote and it caught at my heart. I couldn’t work out why. I know people like this, for whom life affects them more than others, or more than me, certainly. Sometimes this person is me, or has been me. Especially when I’ve already been vulnerable, or rather, how I prefer to think of it, open. It’s when we are open, when our hearts are laid bare to the world, that things will affect us more deeply.

What I am left with is that we’re all very different. We don’t really know how anything will impact another person and so we need to try to be aware, to have our eyes open. We need to look out for other people – we’re all part of one thing after all, one human race. Maybe it might help us to be happy if we try to see how we affect others, if only so that when we do accidentally deliver a blow, we can try to make sure that the other falls gently and doesn’t hurt himself even more…or when she is lying on the ground, we don’t kick her – we give her water. Maybe if we do this for another, one day when we need it most, someone else will do it for us.

It’s not always possible to avoid hurting another, but it is possible to avoid delivering a fatal blow. It’s not always possible to prevent someone failing, but it is possible to help them see that there is something beyond that failure. It’s not always possible to prevent heartbreak, but you can avoid rubbing salt into a broken heart.

I suppose that the point of me writing this is just to share my thoughts – that in living genuinely and striving for improvement we can’t always avoid pain, but we can give hope (or have hope) that there is something beyond the pain.

 

* Pearl S Buck describing a highly sensitive person – quoted in Therapy Today, Nov 2011, BACP magazine in the article ‘Epilepsy and emotional wellbeing’ by Tony Warren

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