It isn’t good to fly with one’s eyes closed.
Now, that may seem like a self-evident statement, but it was brought home to me recently.
Some people have a positive outlook on life. They seem to soar high above the rocky mountain paths and deep valleys others experience. It may be because they haven’t faced the same struggles or it may be because of their positive nature. Either way, too often the people on the paths or in the valleys are overlooked.
Either we are flying too high (not sure that’s possible) or flying with our eyes shut.
So, what are some of the solutions?
1. Take time to descend every now and then and look for those who are having a tough go of it.
2. Don’t minimize their struggle or offer cookie cutter advice. (Often, they can’t simply “shake it off” and take to the skies.)
3. Try to listen without passing judgment. (This is a toughy for me, especially if the one struggling is a family member.)
4. It’s okay not to have the answers. Even when we do, it may be best to keep them to ourselves for the time being.
5. Offer unconditional love. (Again, this can be difficult. However, even if a person’s situation is partly a result of poor choices, it doesn’t mean we should point it out. And it definitely doesn’t mean we should withdraw our love.)
6. If the individual asks for input, keep it brief. It’s best to let them process what you have to say little by little.
7. If you know of resources or individuals that could help, offer to pass along the information.
8. If the problem is serious, encourage the individual to seek the help he or she may need.
9. Do your very best not to come across as sounding superior, condescending, or judgmental.
10. Offer to pray, if not with, then for the individual – then do it.
To those who are struggling…Even when it doesn’t seem like it, there are people who care.
To those who are soaring…Keep an eye out. Your altitude can give you a great perspective, if you focus in the right place.