Friday, July 12, 2013

Talk Less, Do More

It's been a while since I have posted here, and I can't promise that I will keep up now because I just. can't.  But, I hope I can!  I love writing and I love talking about community and so, so many great things have happened recently that have to do with just digging in deep, loving others, and being IN community...but more to come on that...hopefully...if I can get my act together.

I recently read this post and thought it was so important to share.  It makes me feel all sorts of things: sadness for this family, for this man whose life was lost too soon- but also, confusion that this mom somehow feels to blame for her son's death.  I think things are a lot more complicated than that.  It has also made me think about the saying, "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."  Is that really true?  If she had said or done something different than what she did do, what would have been the outcome.

I have a dear friend who's son was recently diagnosed with an awful disease which will shorten his life and change significantly the quality of his life.  Within the first few weeks of his diagnosis, so many well meaning people reached out to her to share their stories, their condolences, their advice.  And so many people said and did hurtful things, many without even knowing it.

But...on the other hand...would not having said anything have been better?  I'm not so sure.  I know that when we are feeling desperate, scared, or alone hearing nothing but crickets around us doesn't feel comforting either.

So, what's the alternative?

I'm not sure.  I'm thinking about it and I want to share my reflections with you here.  My first thought, my first response, is to say to check our intentions, to tread lightly, to ask questions, to find ways to quietly support (meals, cleaning house, sending gifts, earnest prayers) when we don't have to words to say.  When we haven't the faintest idea what we could or should say.  When what we have to say is hurtful, judgmental, naive, or biased. 

I have a feeling all of us (definitely myself included) would be talking a lot less and doing a lot more.

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