Had a sobering experience yesterday. Through serendipity, I sparked a conversation with someone in the store. Eftsoons it shifted to the theme of overcoming hardships, the said person, unprompted, burst into heavy tears. Her eyes cascaded a liquid symphony of grief, a Beethoven torrent…moonlight sonata. It seemed she was laboring under the yoke of ominous clouds that our conversation disgorged into tears. The catharsis of finally connecting with someone willing to listen and comfort without judgement. I tried engilding the person through sharing the lessons of my own life experiences via encouraging words. The whole encounter was beatific, and underscored how even the most ostensibly confident person is often just hiding behind a veneer of composure that a simple interchange of honesty and warmth can forthwith unmask.
Everyone, no matter how “externally secure” or “outwardly successful” is toiling through some night of affliction in the soul. Certes, appearances are deceptive! Ergo, I hope we can look beyond the guises of our neighbor and try perceiving the primal screams of lamentations in their soul that might manifest through a litany of outward behaviors and attitudes. Let us step outside ourself, outside our situation, and try perceiving the heart of our neighbor. A kind word, a kind look, a kind conversation underpinned by a genuine desire to listen and understand goes a long way to uplifting others. As we do this, so do we prepare the path to receive this same help when we ourselves most urgently need it.
~Ikenna Q Ezealah