Even the most resilient person can fail to thrive without necessary support and encouragement. We were working late last night when a young adult showed up in a desperate state.
He immediately began to tell us how he had ruined his life; it was all his fault; he needed help but could totally understand why no one would help him.
Scott replied, “I think it is a bit more complicated than that.” He provided resources appropriate to the situation as we understood it. As always, it felt too little for so much need.
This person wasn’t able to hear much. He wasn’t really comfortable in our presence. But there was no way we were going to let him leave without a bit of encouragement.
Maybe this simple sentence feels like it offers little in the way of comfort. But what we discover over and over again is that suffering people are rarely able to receive much more than a small dose, the tiniest hint of feedback that just because a person has done a lot of naughty things, it doesn’t mean that they are people who do not deserve dignity and respect.
We are not as resilient as we once were as a culture. Our infighting and name calling and judging and blaming and shaming of one another has become a cultural norm. This must stop. This is killing us all.
How can you encourage others today? Even people you disagree with at every turn - how can you put more encouragement into the world?