Monday, May 26, 2014

Simple Acts of Kindness: Listening with Empathetic Ear

"Not long ago I visited a friend in the hospital. When I walked into her room, she began complaining about the male nurse she had. She said he was forgetful, rude, short with her, and not very pleasant. When my friend left the room for her therapy, her nurse came in to change the sheets. I could see the pain and anguish on his face. I offered a few kind words about how much I appreciated his hard work and dedication. That opened the way for him to reveal the incredible hardship in his life. His wife still lived in South Africa and his two children had recently died from medical complications. He was working a double shift, just to make ends meet. When I heard all this, I felt a deep, loving kindness for him. Before he left the room, I gave him a big hug. He started to cry. You know how that can be sometimes? All it takes is a hug or kind word and the emotional floodgates open. During the following couple of weeks, whenever I visited my friend, I took the nurse some of my homemade organic granola, muffins, cupcakes, cookies, or bread, which he loved and appreciated. Both my hospitalized friend and I learned a valuable lesson during those two weeks on how important it is to reach out to others with tenderheartedness even though you have no guarantees of what you’ll get in return.
"Each of us can make a difference in the world. By our intentions and through our attitudes, we can create Heaven or Hell."

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