Situations no one wants to face.
Recently, I sat in an airport near a couple that was in the heat of a fight. Their faces were riddled with hurt as they argued and lashed out.
Then I realized..they weren't speaking English.
It's so interesting how suffering and struggle is universal. I didn't have to know what they were saying to understand what was happening. I didn't have to translate their words to feel the hurt and heaviness on their hearts.
My heart broke.
How many times have I been on one side of that table? On the tearful one or the frustrated one. Far too often have I used my hands and my words to beg or plead for understanding, an apology, or any sign of hope; only to be met with anger, confusion, and doubt.
"I love you, but I don't know if I see a future with you."
"Why can't you just understand?"
"You're not listening to me. Just listen to me!"
"You're not worth it anymore."
We've all been seated at that table.
So many of us get stuck for our entire lives on one side of that table. We get cemented into begging the world to understand, begging the world to apologize, begging for some kind of hope.
I can promise you, the world won't give that to you. The world doesn't care.
But that's not the end of the story.
The rest of the world may not answer you, but we can. We, this community, can be the answer. We can show mercy to a stranger needing an encouraging word. To the homeless begging more for love than our money. To that coworker going through a divorce. To our friend who just lost her baby. To our overweight friend who is struggling to get off the couch.
It's OUR job, our challenge, our mission to speak hope, truth, peace, and compassion to the world.
WE CAN BE THE VOICE WE'VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR!
So let's change the song that the world is singing.
1) Change the way you speak to yourself. It's that whole log in your own eye before the speck in your brothers eye thing. You'll find it easier to encourage others if you encourage yourself first.
2) Seek out at least three people in your life to encourage everyday-- three different people everyday. Better yet, make one of the people you encourage a stranger. Give them a compliment, ask how they are really doing, or tell them they are incredible.
3) When someone opens up to you about their struggles, LISTEN TO THEM. Make eye contact with them. Put down your phone and give them your undivided attention. Show them you care by giving them one of the best gifts you can give- your time.
Let's change the world's tone of voice.