Ever say hello to a person and ask, “How are you doing?” and have the person burst into tears? Just a few seconds prior they looked the perfect picture of togetherness complete with a smile. Now they are standing before you with tears flowing, and you’re wondering what to do to soothe the situation. You pry a bit further to find out the cause of the tears and for the next hour or so you are bombarded with a long detailed story about the hardship the person is facing. You feel helpless and empathetic. Yet part of you is sorry you asked the original question because now you’re stuck dealing with a situation that wasn’t part of your day.
That has happened to me on more than one occasion. All plans delayed or canceled because someone is in need.
What’s the point? People tend to ask the question, “How are you?” quite regularly – or if you’re Bermudian you’re likely to hear, “Hah you?” We aren’t really quite prepared for much else beyond, “I”m fine, thank you!” With the stress people seem to be under nowadays, and even without the stress, it’s difficult to read people’s emotions as most resort to keeping to themselves.
We don’t need to delve into people’s personal businesses but what we CAN do is take some time to say something kind to another person because we really never know what another person is going through. But that one kind word might make the world of difference for that day and the days to come.