Be a candle

Loneliness can be a deep, vast sea to those who have no one waiting for them on shore. Open your heart to someone you know is floating in a sea of despair, their head barely above the waterline. Stop in for a visit, jot them an email, or give them a call. The fact that someone cares might be enough to give them the fortitude they need to start paddling. ~ by Sandra Kring

Dear Abby

My parents have always kept a subscription to the Chicago Tribune.  So from the age of about 11 on, I was an avid daily reader of Dear Abby and Ann Landers.  Over the years, I was always a bit amazed that the same complaints appeared over and over again; intrusive questions about fertility, noisy chewers, comments about children with disabilities.   Ann and Abby had already answered these questions many times before, people!  Weren’t you paying attention?  Even my friends at school read Ann and Abby most days.  In an argument, Ann or Abby’s opinion was a trump card – they had that kind of authority.  My grandfather clipped their columns to pass on to us when he wanted to warn us off some destructive path.  How was it possible that there were still people engaging in such loutish behavior? 

These days Ann and Abby are now fakes who have moved on to paternity problems and suggesting to parents that they take a picture of their child each morning to pass onto police on the off chance that they get kidnappeded that day.  But one problem I’m sure still shows up, although hopefully not so often is people disappearing in times of great suffering.  These letters more than any others always triggered my “weren’t you people listening” reaction.  I have made a point through my life of trying to reach out to people I know who are going through a hard time because of these

Ann Landers

letters.  

I thought of this all to common problem this morning when I came across the above quote.  It is so true.  When someone is already going through a hard time, the smallest thing can be a lifesaver.  A candle shines more brightly in the darkness than at noon and all that.  And this time of year can be particularly dark for those who are suffering.  Knowing that there are people out there who could reach out with their little spark but don’t can compound the suffering even more. 

I would really encourage everyone who reads this to reach out to someone you know who is going through a hard time today.  It really doesn’t take much.  An email or 10 minute phone call won’t cost anything in time or money, but could make all the difference to someone who is hurting.  “I was thinking about you and wanted to see how you’re holding up,” is all you need to  say.  Big problems don’t require big gestures and solutions.  When you have nothing, little things become all the more important.  And Ann and Abby said you should! 

HT Positive Outlooks on Facebook for the quote.  You should “like” them!

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