Friday, November 25, 2011

The Private Battles

Elder Eyring in the Ensign of 2004 said this:

"When I was a young man, I served as counselor to a wise district president in the Church. He tried to teach me. One of the things I remember wondering about was this advice he gave: “When you meet someone, treat them as if they were in serious trouble, and you will be right more than half the time.” (Henry B. Eyring, “In the Strength of the Lord,” Ensign, May 2004, 16)

Whether it's the car vs train accident you read about on the news, the divorce your friend is about to experience who has called you bursting into tears, whether it's the police vehicles you see at the neighbors house, or if it's the quiet battle you sense inside the heart or mind of the person who sits next to you at church, there are so many battles. Everything from addiction recovery, to the pain or consequences of someone elses's choices whom you love.

Maybe the battle is finding a relationship or having family when things don't seem to be working.   Maybe the struggle is with work, with coworkers or other economic challenges.  Life is hard.  Therefore I think we shouldn't be hard on each other.  Most of the battles people face we probably don't see, but it's worth recognizing that they exist. Some are extremely painful, although not visible. Others are equally difficult but more visible to others.

It creates empathy and a space for compassion to acknowledge private battles for a moment.

I like Elder Eyring's words. Not that we project problems onto people, or assume negative things of their life. But just simply acknowledging that life can be hard, and that we can support each other, and share our God given gifts and talents with those who can benefit from them.   If we just take notice.    

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